I tried to keep it in all day, tried to work on art, watch TV, chat on facebook, read. About an hour ago, I couldn’t handle it any more. I started sobbing. I blurted out everything I was thinking to my boyfriend. I reminded him about the one medicine I took that made me feel not depressed- it only worked for about 3 months, and then side effects kicked in that basically induced psychosis. It was like a horrible prank- letting me feel for a moment that I was going to be okay.
I’ve had depression for about 20 years and I’ve had anxiety problems basically since I was born. When I took that medicine, I suddenly realized that it wasn’t that everybody else was stronger than me or tried harder. It was that most people weren’t spending their days under a persistent, pressing cloud of anxiety and depression. I suddenly understood how I could go forward, and then I was thrust back into my old situation.
My new medicines usually take the edge off, but sometimes I feel like all they do is make me seem better to my friends and family. Inside, it still feels so scary and unfair, and I feel all this pressure to pretend to be normal. I barely go outside because of that. I always feel like people are laughing at me, thinking about how fat and ugly and weird I am. I worry that they somehow know that when I’m employed, I freak out and miss days to the point where it becomes a problem. I feel like a finger is always pointed at me, like I have “Lazy,” “weird,” “not normal,” “spoiled,” “awkward” written in balloons over my head. I’ve learned to pretend this feeling isn’t there, but that leads to people telling me they don’t think I’m depressed and that if I just try harder I can get a good-paying job and support myself. Then they tell me that I’m 32, as if I don’t know, and too old to be depending on my parents. A new favorite thing for people to do when they find out I have an English degree is to start listing careers I could have, as if I haven’t thought of these things. I usually want to scream at them at this point, because I’m not stupid or lazy. I’m really not.
My boyfriend says no one wants me to pretend to be okay. He says my friends and family love and care about me, and that no one else matters. He says I need to let people know when I’m not doing well.
So, I just want everyone to know. I AM TRYING SUPER HARD. When you see me laughing, like I always am, that’s me trying. When I am outside at all, that’s me trying. When I am having a hard time and I don’t cut myself, that’s me trying. Sometimes when I get out of bed in the morning, that is me putting in an extreme effort.
Depression isn’t sadness. It isn’t an emotion that is necessarily linked to what is happening around a person, and it isn’t something that can be shrugged off. It’s an illness, and it sucks. If you’ve never experienced depression, there is probably no way you can know how it feels (although you can be compassionate about it.) I have a good friend who is pretty wonderful in many ways, but every time I tell her I’m depressed, she asks me why and if I don’t have an answer, she dismisses me and tells me to watch cartoons or eat something tasty.
I feel like I’m wrong for being like this. That I should just be able to be better immediately. I didn’t cry tonight because I was depressed. I cried because I feel like I’m running on a Hamster wheel, getting nowhere, not able to take care of myself and everyone can see it. I’m so tired of being judged.
I wish I was better.