Depression

Aug. 12th, 2014 12:52 pm
disturbinglynic: (wesley/riker disturbinglynic)
[personal profile] disturbinglynic
I've thought about posting about depression before but I never did. I think now might be an appropriate time for it. Like the rest of the world, I am absolutely devastated by the loss of Robin Williams. He was a treasure and he will be greatly missed.



I was on the phone with my mother this morning and we were talking about Robin Williams. My mother knows people who have depression, including her own daughter, so imagine my surprise when she said, "I wonder what he had to be depressed about." And she's not the only one. If you wander around the internet you will find many people saying the same thing.

As I told my mom, depression doesn't work like that. Depression just is. That's so hard for many people to accept, including people who are suffering from depression.

I can't speak for everyone with depression, obviously. Everyone is different and I am very fortunate to only suffer from mild depression. I have never been suicidal and I honestly believe I never will be. That being said, I know what it's like to wake up in the morning wanting to die. I know what it feels like to want it all to just end.

Last year was my worst bad period of depression ever. I have suffered bad periods before, but they were always very mild and didn't last long. Last year, however, there were contributing factors to my depression and I wound up right against the wall of my breaking point. I was right there and it was terrifying. I haven't been there since, and I hope I never wind up there again.

That breaking point was why I walked out on my job in October. That job was toxic. I had been there for nearly seven years. My boss was a misogynistic little shit. There were things going on with my family that were horrible and should have never happened. For the last two/three months of that job I cried nearly every day. Showering was a chore. Any bit of spare energy I had went to getting up and going to my job. Again, I am very lucky I have only ever suffered from mild depression.

I had planned on staying at that job through the end of the year because my husband was finishing up his PhD and was on the hunt for a job. The plan, even then, was for me to stay home and write while he worked, with the possibility of getting a part-time job. And then I walked out on my job. This wasn't a surprise to my husband. I had been talking about leaving that place for months. I wanted to make it to the end of the year, but I wasn't sure I could, and he knew this. If I hadn't walked out I would have run right through that wall to my breaking point and that is not something my husband and I wanted to see.

But this wasn't just about my job. This wasn't just about family stuff. This was depression, even if only in it's mildest form. I wasn't going to be miraculously healed. I spent the rest of October and most of November in a funk. I finally started pulling out of it in December. Since then I've had some bad spells. They've been mild, but they put a halt in my writing and it's terrible. There have been days where I haven't left my bed. You don't cure depression, you mange it and you live with it. Even on my best days I can feel it there. It's waiting for me, ready to suck me back down into that hole the second it sees an opportunity.

It's been ten months since I left that job and I still have nightmares about it. I wouldn't be able to hold down a part-time job now even if I wanted to. Thankfully, hubby is awesome. I get to stay home and write. And read. And knit. And on days that I need it, stare blankly at the TV while streaming The Office of Netflix.

I don't take anything for my depression, nor do I see anyone about it. Hubby and I have discussed this and we both feel that these are both not good options for me. Again, my depression is mild and has been manageable on its own. But some people need need these things and they should be able to get the help they so desperately need. But as long as there are still people in the world wondering why somebody is depressed, then how can we help the people who need it? We lose too many good people to depression and that's terrible. Depression lies. Get help if you need it. We should be able to take time off of work to heal mentally, the same way we would to heal physically. Something in our society needs to change.

I would also like to point out that I've always been very open about my depression, both with my friends and my husband. While my family known, they have these same thoughts about depression that so many people do and it makes it difficult to talk to them about it. My twitter friends know though that I might disappear from the online world for a while because they know. My RL friends know about it and my anxieties and they don't push. They are good about things like needing to hide from people, or even the crying. I can hold an entire conversation while crying. The crying just happens. It's how my body reacts to so many different things. I can feel completely numb and there will still be tears rolling down my cheeks. That's just how it is.

I like when people share their stories about depression too. Everyone suffers differently, but there's also this common thread and you just nod your head and go "yeah. me too."

RIP Robin Williams.

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