Every now and then I hear say; “I’m so depressed”, or “I’ve really felt depressed lately, and just don’t know what to do.” I don’t think that person really knows what the words means. For people like me, who live with depression it feels as if someone is just saying the words. I have friends who go on Google and say they’ve read this and that, and so they “understand” what I’m going through. But, until you’ve actually faced it day after day, week after week, month after month, and on and on, then you don’t know. For the longest time, I didn’t want to get an actual diagnosis, because I didn’t want some label. But the longer it went untreated, it started to spiral out of control. I felt as if it was crushing the life out of me.
My dad died a few months ago, and since them I’ve been in a terrible depression. We had always been so close. My mom died when I was young, so I didn’t know her all that well. But, my dad and I always had a terrific relationship. The therapist keeps telling me: “this is situational depression. You’ll come out of it soon enough.” But each day I feel as if life has become almost too much to bear. I don’t want to work on anything. I feel as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I can’t get motivated to do anything. I have no desire to see people, have fun, or be social. I can’t bring myself to do it. I knew I needed help, and so I went to a grief counselor. She is helping me a lot, but I am still struggling to feel remotely like myself again. A friend of mine suggested a support group, and I just might do that. After all, people going through the same thing have the compassion a person needs to understand what’s happening, and how to cope.
I do a lot of reading, and all the articles said that some people will pull out of their depression quickly, depending on their support network and their coping strategies. Others, however, will find the feelings linger, and it is more challenging for them to recover. But, people do recover. I know it’s all because of my divorce which has been bitter and frustrating. Still, it’s not easy to just “come out of it”. I can’t just “shake it off”. It doesn’t work like that.
The truth is, I can’t seem to explain how I feel. I keep trying to find the words to help people understand what I’m going through. Everything feels hopeless. All my connections to people around me feel as if they’d been destroyed by some dark monster. I try to take good care of myself, but so many nights I toss and turn and I can’t get to sleep. There are days I can’t be bothered to eat. I know I should, but I can’t force myself to do it.
It’s as if I’ve stopped caring about everything and everyone. Even my husband. I know I still loved him, but all I want to do is withdraw from the world. I feel as if life has let me down. I am supposed to be doing the edits on my novel, but I could have cared less. Nothing fees important anymore. Some days, I just don’t even want to get out of bed, and they feel like such a struggle.
I get these really dark thoughts, and all day I’m so distracted. But, at night, my mind races so hard I can’t fall asleep. Sometimes I get these horrible nightmares and I don’t want to go back to sleep.
I don’t feel like myself anymore. I look at life and I don’t see colors. Everything looks grey and full of shadows. Every situation feels like a burden, even something as simple as getting up in the morning and making breakfast. I worry that I’m letting my wife and kids down, and that I’ve failed in life. I know depression is an illness which can be treated, but sometimes I don’t even want to talk about it. There’s that horrible label out there – mental illness! I don’t want that. people who may forget to eat and lose weight.
I feel so disconnected from everyone and everything – family, friends, and colleagues. Everyone looks so far away to me.
In my culture, we don’t talk about things like depression. It’s not something we would even think about. If you have a problem with your health, you deal with it and move on. No one wants to hear how sad you are, or how this depression impacts on your life. I can’t talk to anyone around me. It’s just a taboo subject. So, what am I supposed to do? I live on my own, and the only person I could talk to would be a psychiatrist. No one in my family has ever been to a psychiatrist. It’s not something we would do – ever.
I have all the support I need around me but I just want to do this on my own. A while back I started drinking, you know, to take away the sadness and help me get to sleep. But, now I have to drink more and more, and I have another problem, which is, I drink too much. I know I should stop. I need to stop. But, I don’t want to go on anti-depressants. How cliché! Take a pill and make everything alright. It’s not that easy. Believe me. It’s easier to deal with it myself. All I know is I just want the pain to go away.
I’ve decided to get some help. It’s the best thing I’ve done for myself. The counselor really listens. We talk strategies and how to cope each day, what to do when I’m feeling sad, unmotivated, frustrated, and all the other feelings I’m going through. I’m so glad I found her; she’s been absolutely wonderful.