Welcome! Bear with me, I’m just getting this blog rolling. This is something I’ve wanted to do for awhile, but as with many important things in my life, depression has led me to put it on the back burner. Writing has always been a hobby of mine – one in which I’d aspired to pursue as a career at one point…but never did. As many (if not all) writers know, it’s not an easy process. Finding the motivation to sit down and focus on finding words to best represent your ideas and emotions is no simple task. It’s exhausting, actually. However, it’s a rewarding form of work/art/expression etc. That being said, depression had nearly convinced my mind that my thoughts were garbage, especially when put into words. Even when I’d discover some resiliency to write, I’d give up quickly. “This is stupid”, I’d grumble. “Everything’s stupid”. This poisonous depression has, on multiple occasions, led me to believe I was of no worth as a human being. I’d ask myself why such a BAD person should deserve the privilege to share thoughts with others. I decided to forgo keeping the journal I had kept since the 5th grade. My thoughts, even written privately on paper, were trash. This has only been one of the ways in which depression has affected my life.
In the past, I believed a blog ought not be used as a journal with an attention-seeking agenda. I figured they were a great way to share personal stories, but I didn’t think sharing mundane details of ones daily life was worth broadcasting. Perhaps it was a reflection of my own life when assuming that. “My life is boring. Life is boring. Nobody cares”. As my depression worsened, I turned to blogs and mental health sites seeking information but also a sense of community. Even though I had stumbled upon many genuine, honest blogs on the subject, I sensed that there are so many people silently battling depression, among other mental illnesses. Some are hesitant to open up, some deny it, some hide it, some simply have no idea why they feel so “sad” all of the time. This was even more pronounced in my daily life, not just online. When I’d learn of a friend’s suffering, I wanted to extend any knowledge I held about it all. I wanted to help and exclaim “ME TOO!”
Unfortunately, I was afraid to ask another about their possible depression. I didn’t want to “upset” someone by asking if they were OK. I also didn’t want others to ask me in fear of being viewed as weak, crazy, or incapable of performing simple tasks. Which I will admit, there were times where I struggled even with basic hygiene. But I wasn’t crazy, right? Right? This is why I want to participate in the mission aimed toward re-framing perceptions of mental health illnesses. The more of us that come forward with a personal story, ask for help or offer insight, the less alone we feel. It’s easy to believe you’re the only one at work who is not able to focus, not interested in talking to coworkers or irritable, taking no pride in your work (or even caring if it gets done), or struggling to take a shower in the morning. Most likely, you’re not the only one.
Unfortunately, depression is typically an illness one doesn’t cure but copes with. There are fantastic medications that can help one to find more energy to get through the day or to feel a bit lighter. I will always recommend therapy, but it’s important to find a therapist you feel comfortable with. Without a trusting relationship with a therapist, one will not feel able to open up, thus impeding progress. There are hundreds of methods and activities one can try to help ease a troubled mind, it’s a matter of finding what suits you. I realize that, with depression, making that first step to try something is often the most difficult part. Please keep in mind, each person experiences depression differently and there is no one right way to cope.
I’d like to be able to share any wisdom or insights I’ve acquired throughout all of this. I only use wisdom because I believe when a person has suffered, an element of knowledge is acquired about humanity that others who haven’t may not see. I’m on this journey with you. I will keep reading blogs and I will keep posting. After all, this blog is a way of coping with my own depression, too.