This came across my social media today, and in addition to sharing with those in that space I had to share it here…
This hit me so hard today, right in the deeper feels. Given my apathetic stance on most everything lately, that means quite a lot. It’s hit me so hard that I decided to try and open a conversation about it.
Why don’t we talk about this side of depression? How do we explain to others that this is what it can feel like the majority of the time? Just waking up and staying awake long enough in the day to be “appropriate”, praying for the day to end? This is my reality 75-80% of the time in all honesty. I speculate that it’s this “minor” due to the medications I’m on, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be fortunate enough to only experience emptiness and a desire for the day to be over.
Today was a good day in actuality, maybe that’s why this little post struck such a deep cord. I managed to clean my apartment, something I’ve neglected for weeks. So with a clean space and a clear head I feel good today. A recent change in medication could be the reason for today’s energy, or maybe today is my up day this month… I don’t know. Yesterday the above little post was me, and the day before, and the weeks before that. If it’s not crippling anxiety it’s just emptiness.
When I met with my psychiatrist I was candid, I am tired of who I’ve been this past year. Missing my old self on a regular basis, to the point that I questioned what life could look like medication free and asked if that would ever be in my future. Short answer is no, that isn’t a solution to my problems at least not until a very distant future and even then very unlikely.
So why don’t we talk about the gaping hole that depression leaves where there used to be a whole person? I think one reason is the inability to articulate those feelings. When one feels empty how do you describe that in an emotional sense that others can understand, especially people who have never walked that path? Then again, maybe it’s because this feeling is relatable to everyone, so no one sees it for what it is. Depression. Perhaps the world doesn’t want to admit they’re farther down the rabbit hole then they care to take responsibility for.
Rarely do I scan through social media and find something that seems so simple yet so profound. This is why I had to share this little post with you and see what your thoughts were. It acknowledges the guilt of living with mental illness. A guilt I stare down every day. Either it’s an argument of why can’t I just be normal already, or it’s the guilt of knowing that just because today was a good day doesn’t mean tomorrow will be. Feeling sympathy for those who are in my life because I know that they can’t depend on the person I will be day to day.
Having a good day invariably drives me to plan for a future, back to when I’m a normal, functioning, productive person again. It creates a false hope that today is just the first day of a new life and before I know it I will be dusting off the old resume and rejoining society. Actually signing up for all those dating apps, really having conversations with people via text or even better in person. All those best laid plans that pave the road to hell. Because before I can even recognize the shift I’m back to that empty person lying in bed wondering if I should just try and sleep the day away so I don’t have to live with the guilt of being.
As I think about it now, guilt is one of the few emotions that I haven’t really attempted to process. It’s not something I easily recognize, but this pointed it out in bright neon lights for me today. Guilt is what we do feel. Guilt for not being who we once were, or who we think the world wants us to be. Guilt for not being able to take care of ourselves the way society expects a person to. Guilt for not being what the world says is right and proper, whether it actually is or not. This guilt leads to shame, and that shame leads to more emptiness. This is the vicious cycle.
I feel like I’ve rambled enough, so I’ll stop now. Thank you for your time. If this post struck you the same way it struck me, or if you have any ideas please feel free to share in the comments below. Let’s open a dialogue about mental illness and do our part to help others and relieve the stigma of mental illness together.
Until next time dear readers.