I have a confession to make. My Adventures have not been going so well. And I’ve had a hard time opening up about that, which is particularly sad since documenting my journey was the whole point of this blog. But here’s the truth of it: It is very hard to make good choices when you are depressed. Or more accurately, Depressed with a Capital D.
Depression is an asshole. It is an evil, insidious thing that creeps up on you and before you even realize it’s happening, it’s taken hold of you and locked you up in a box of cold, icy, silence. It makes you feel alone, invisible, and unloved- even when you’re surrounded by family and friends. Depression is not logical. It’s chemical.
Mental Health is just as important to quality of life as physical health and it should not be something that we are ashamed of. 300 million people around the world suffer from Depression in some form, and women make up most that number. It is a complex health disorder that can manifest in many ways, have many different causes, and is often not treated properly. At its worst, Depression can convince us that we are not worth helping- that we don’t even want to be saved. Depression causes 800,000 people to take their own lives every year.
Now, clarification I am not suicidal. This post is not a personal call for help. I suffer from Recurrent depressive disorder, which means that my brain chemistry dips too low a couple of times a year and I go into a deep funk. The good news is that I’ve learned that when I get to the point where I can see what is happening to me, I’m usually already halfway back to normal. And then it’s time to apologize to the few people who realized something was wrong, and go back to my previously scheduled life.
This time is different though. I’ve found myself in the company of another who suffers from the same issues, and I can’t just sit back and tolerate this anymore. It’s my job to teach him that there is a better way, even if I’m not exactly sure what that way is yet. I know that I must find it because I may have been okay with not loving myself enough, but I can’t just let that cycle perpetuate. My Adventure in Getting Healthy started as a way to regain my sense of self. I wanted my creativity back. I wanted my sense of humor and fun back.
And then shit got real.
So, if you see me this Holiday Season, and I seem like maybe I’m not quite myself- maybe I’m trying a little too hard, remember this: There are millions of us out there, trying desperately to have fun like everyone else. Trying to keep our kids from noticing anything’s wrong. Trying to keep our businesses afloat, our relationships healthy, our smiles plastered on- even though everything around us feels wrong. Remember that and don’t judge. We are all chasing our Joy- some of us just have a harder time finding it.
And if you are worried about someone in your life who suffers from Depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to them. One of the worse lies Depression tells us is that we are alone and unloved.