I've written daily in a journal since I was about 11 years old (my first "diary" was the best gift I've ever been given - thanks mom!) but two and a half years ago when my dad passed away, there were no words. I stopped writing.
Putting pen to paper has always felt therapeutic for me and it seems I write the most when times are hard (during the years of teenage angst I referred to my journals as "anthologies of pain"). I've often wondered how healthy this practice is and have tried to force a more postive outlook but writing is the one place where I feel I can be vulnerable. Where I don't have to hide my struggle.
And things have been a struggle lately, to say the least. And I'm tormented by the realization that, over the years, they've been a struggle more often than not. I'm 31 years old and it's time I started to take this black cloud over my head seriously. It's not a phase, it's not because of some random "issue" that might be currently going on in my life. Like my shadow this darkness has followed me everywhere for as long as I can remember and for the first time in my life I realize that it's not going to go away.
So what is a girl to do?
Live with it. Live thru it. Live despite it.
What other choice is there?
Lately I've heard depression referred to with hushed words like "taboo", "forbidden" and "secret". Why is it so shameful? Is it because the hurt is not visible? I know just as well as anyone that so many of us suffer in silence and that this is also a coping mechanism - "fake it till you make it" as I like to call it. We smile through the pain and so often, those who wear the biggest smiles are doing so inspite of tremendous inner turmoil.
One of the things I believe contributes to the belief that sufferers can "snap out of it" is the casual use of the word "depressed".
Depression is not the feeling you get when you can't get tickets to see your favorite band. It is not the feeling you get when your favorite team is eliminated from the playoffs (although that does hurt. I'm writing this less than 2 hours after my beloved Vancouver Canucks lost in the first round - ouch!). It's not something a little sunshine will cure. It's not even the feeling you get when a relationship falls apart (though depending on the circumstances, it can definitely lead a person there.)
It is not a feeling that comes and goes. It's a fucking lifestyle. And it's hard.
I can't fake it any longer. This has been haunting me for over half of my life and I'm trying to deal with it but if I'm being totally honest, it feels harder now than it's ever been. It seems to have gained power. It seems to be such a huge part of my past (not to mention my present!) and now I'm paralysed with the fear that it will be a huge part of my future as well. This hopelessness has taken me to a whole new level of darkness. One I've never been to before.
I'm doing the best I can. I know the few friends I have are frustrated. I'm sure they think I am being so negative even if it's only due to my lack of positivity.
"This will pass. Think positively!" was a bbm I received just minutes ago.
I try not to be a downer, I try not to always talk about how shitty things are. I will lie and tell them I've gone out for a walk. Or that I've gotten out of bed that day. Showered. Had a meal.
I've started taking medication again and it was a very difficult decision for me personally. I've been on medication before and I'm not entirely sure it helped so this time I was even more cautious. It seems like everyone and their dog (literally) is on anti-depressants these days. People who go to yoga, who go out with friends, who can get out of bed every day but just don't feel "happy".
I can't relate.
I need some serious ammo here. This is the battle of a lifetime.
Cypralex is what I've been prescribed and I've been taking it for 3 weeks now. I'm also going to try to find another therapist. (This is an exhausting and sometimes very discouraging task.)
And I'm going to keep writing. Even if no one ever sees these words, I'm going to keep writing. Write thru this.