One of the easiest ruts to get stuck in, and the hardest to get out of, is depression. I don’t write about this much, or I try not to, because I like to pretend it doesn’t exist.
When I was very young, maybe six years old, I had severe anxiety. So for a time I was medicated for depression and anxiety. I didn’t understand what that meant at the time, because I thought the way I thought was normal. And I definitely didn’t understand why I had to take medication to not think that way.
For reasons I also didn’t understand at the time, I stopped taking the medication about a year later. Let me tell you, the difference between how gradual it is to feel change at the beginning, and how suddenly you feel change when you go off them… it’s insane.
But all of that is beside the point.
This is the one time I’m going to let myself write about depression, so I’ll keep it short.
Anyone who has experienced depression knows that it comes in all shapes and sizes. It crops up at the most unexpected times, for no reason at all. And usually when it passes or gets better, you don’t even know you’re feeling better until you descend into yet another low and see the contrast.
It’s somewhat like being lethargic, bogged down in a sticky mire. Your thoughts are clouded and unhappy, even when you’re thinking of nothing in particular. Energy goes out the window, and some days sleeping seems like the only cure.
For me, I like to watch or listen to or read things that are more depressing than my own situation – that way I feel a modicum better about things.
It is difficult to be useful when you feel sad.
It’s difficult to do anything, really. But most importantly, it is difficult to do anything that you most need to do – like remembering to eat, or shower, or speak to people you know, or go outside…
It is difficult to care about going to work, or doing your laundry, or washing your dishes. It’s difficult to get out of bed.
It is difficult to do anything which could change your situation.
Sadness. It seems like such a trite word. But at the root of it, that’s what it is. It sounds dramatic to say a life-long sadness. But for people who struggle with depression for decades, that’s what it is. I’m young, but I’ve struggled with it for 20 years, and I know people who have suffered with it for over 60 years.
It’s not a good life. But it’s hard for it to be, ya know? It’s hard to get better when you’re sad.