I feel compelled to continue writing about living with depression and all the layers that come with it. I think it can be confusing, but needs to be talked about so that the stigma of it gets eradicated and it can be treated just like any other illness that a person may be saddled with . . .
For years, I have trudged through the muck with all of the lies strapped to my back, feeling like everything was my fault, like I didn’t deserve to be alive, much less to be sad. But, depression isn’t that simple. It isn’t just about sadness. It has many different faces; hidden behind cloaks of disguises, bearing a variety of teeth. It is different and similar for every person, just like PTSD, or Cancer, as well as the many other maladies and afflictions we may struggle with . . .
I wrote something in a comment on another post about having to choose, every day, whether or not to climb the mountain that is depression. One of the most important things I have realized in this journey through mental illness is that I may not have a choice about living with depression, but I do have choices about how to deal with it. The older I get, the more choices I discover and the quicker I can get climbing . . .
I have had breakdowns that have lasted months and left me unable to move or talk to anyone, and I have had dives into depression that I come out of more quickly. Today, I feel better than yesterday, mainly I think because I woke up choosing to face the day differently, to turn down the volume of depression and to take the paths I have discovered that will help me feel better. This may sound easy and you may wonder why the heck I don’t choose to do this every day; believe me, if I could, I would. It just isn’t that easy, but it is possible. Sometimes … Somedays . . .
Like most illnesses, depression doesn’t just go away. I know this now. There’s no happy pill that works effectively every day, no magic eraser, but there is my own strength, my own resolve, and even when depression is telling me that I don’t have either of those things, they are still there. Depression has a heavy fist, but I have a whisper that travels, the courage to open my eyes, and the strength to keep going, even against all odds. The latter of which I’m coming to discover . .
Just as I do with my trauma issues, I try to look at and write about depression as honestly as I can. I also use the writing about it as a tool to find my voice and to see the world with new eyes. So today, I choose to climb; to feel every muscle, every ache, every sorrow, and all the pain. I choose to get up and face the day and see what it brings . . .