Living With Depression – Take One

I knew I was depressed, but I didn’t want to admit it. The fear. The shame. It kept me from pursuing any kind of help… until one day I decided to make my life better. No one was going to do it for me. I was on my own.

Looking back at it now, I was not at all on my own. I had a whole family and a few good friends to support me. I am thankful that I was able to make that step of my own decision, and that I didn’t have to rely on others noticing how bad I felt–because they don’t always notice.

Many people are so wrapped up in the complexity of their own lives that they fail to notice the lives of the people around them. It is difficult to understand what is happening with another person without the knowledge of their thoughts. One can appear to be cheerful and friendly even though their thoughts may be tormenting them every waking moment.

I never wanted to go out and do simple things like getting groceries. I always felt so awkward around people. I constantly felt like I was in the way, and that somehow I was less important than everyone around me. My life was trivial.

I dreaded personal assignments in school because I hated writing or speaking about myself. I didn’t know what I liked to do. I didn’t know what my future goals were. My life was meaningless, so what could I possibly say? Make something up.

Fortunately, I got through it and decided to get help. I went to my doctor, who arranged for me to see a mental health therapist. That first step was a big one. Such a simple task, yet it was difficult enough.

After that, I started on medication and began feeling a bit better. The medication helped bring back my desire to do things. I wanted to paint, listen to music, and go to the gym. I wanted to bond with my family. I am not saying medication is the answer for everyone, I’m just saying it’s the path that I started on to get me to a more healthy level. Everyone is different.

I’ve had to switch medication many times, and that wasn’t fun. The first one was helping, but I still wasn’t sleeping. The next one made me sleep for 14 or more hours without waking up for anything; I had multiple alarms set, a bobcat in the next door neighbor’s front yard, and my cat was probably licking my face. When I woke up at 4pm I thought my clock was wrong. It scared me. Now I am on a different combination of medication and it is much better.

Being in the state I am now, it is difficult to remember how things were back then. I only know that I was not in a good place, and my thoughts weren’t reflective of who I want to be. I want to be a positive person who inspires others.

I wrote this post because I wanted to share a little piece of my past with everyone, as well as inspire anyone who might be going through a similar situation. Things do get better. Life does have meaning.