I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting this post off for about a week. The whole point of starting this website was to work through issues and connect with others, and while I’ve been doing that, I’ve also been lying to myself and maybe to everyone else, though I’m sure others saw it long before I did, as it often goes.
I’m depressed. I don’t know how long I’ve been depressed, because I truly thought this funk I’ve been in was just how life is now (I’m still not sure if I’ve been depressed or if it just came up). I didn’t know it was depression because I have a ton of high-funtioning, happy moments throughout my days, even though that’s how it is for so many others. I didn’t know it was depression when I was avoiding leaving the house or getting off the couch, even though I know it’s a sign and I’ve seen it many times before. I didn’t know it was depression when the joy I truly want to feel about the holidays really didn’t quite hit home (though, that’s been my norm for all holidays and birthdays for as long as I can remember). I didn’t know it was depression when all I’ve been able to obsess about is the devastation I feel over my lost friendships and my broken relationships with seemingly all of my family members, even though I knew it definitely wasn’t healthy. I had no idea it was depression whenever I’ve taken my daughter’s frequent aversion of me to heart and would sit in a pile of self-pity and tears, even though I know she’s only three and apparently it’s normal. I didn’t even know it was depression when the crippling lowness that creeps in after a particularly nasty anxiety attack didn’t just go away after a day or two, like it usually does, and all I did was hate on myself and wish I could just disappear or die.
I’ve always attributed these things with being extremely sensitive and empathetic (except for the last one). I didn’t know what my issue truly was until I was laying in bed and sobbing to my SO about how worthless I feel as a person, mother, and partner and how they would be better off if I just left and they found someone better to replace me, despite how absolutely devastating and out of character it is for me to consider even during my lowest moments. That night, after several moments of going back and forth between my crying and his reassurances that I am not, in fact, the worst, I realized something is seriously wrong.
I suppose I’m not surprised that I’m actually a lot worse off than I had previously assumed. Afterall, denial is quite prevalent in any mental illness, at least in my personal experience, and hindsight is 20/20. Despite how shitty it is to be in this place, though, I’m extremely grateful I came to this conclusion before even being tempted to lose myself in the substances and self-destruction I so used to love during times like this. I have my daughter to thank for that. Unfortunately, that also means I have to be sober and alone with the desperate, heartbroken, hopeless, version of myself that has taken over my brain.
I have no idea how to claw my way out of this. Especially as a parent. Wallowing isn’t an option, therapy has done literally nothing for me, though I’m willing to go, and I’ve never been fond of how medication makes me feel. So what do I do? How do I find my happiness? How do I love myself, and not just in fleeting bursts of wavering self-esteem or false self-actualisation? How do I let go of my demons and get to a point of true forgiveness of myself and others? How can I be a good parent and partner while I feel like this? When all I want to do is shut out the world and hope I fade away?
I don’t know where I’ll go from here. I don’t know where or how to start healing, but I do know that I’ll continue to push myself to keep writing. I need it and I know that. And I hope you stick with me.
Before I end this, I just want to reach out to those of you who might be feeling similar. There is hope and you are not alone. WE are not alone. We can get through this and we will. If you’re feeling lost and hopeless, I am here and I will listen. No matter how lonely you are or how much it might feel like no one cares, someone does. I do. Do not hesitate to ask for help. We fuckin’ got this.