Since the beginning of this month I have sat down on multiple occasions with the intention of writing a blog post but, have failed to think of something interesting to write about. I don’t want all of my posts to be centred on all of the negative aspects of my life but, these things are actively prominent at the moment.
I wanted to talk about a subject that up until recently I haven’t felt the need to really write about. This post will be about my personal experience. Everyone experiences things differently and I am in no way trying to say that this is what it is like for everyone.
Depression is a word that is often thrown around quite a bit. When you have a chronic illness you are unfortunately expected to at some point suffer from some form of depression. There is a lot of stigma around the subject which has in the past clouded my judgement. What do you think of when someone says the word depression? Suicidal, self-harm. Some may even go to the extent as labelling it as attention seeking. These words are far from the reality of someone suffering from depression and it is often the misconceptions made by others that cause these people to isolate themselves and hold their burdens close to them. Sometimes the biggest fear that people have is that others will see what is behind the façade that they hide behind. The definition of depression is different to each and every person that suffers from it and I hadn’t come up with my own definition until now.
I have tirelessly tried not to let my condition pull me under and have not wanted to allow myself to think that depression will almost certainly cloud my mental state in some way or another at some point in the future. I in no way think that suffering from a mental illness such as this makes you weak or makes you any less of a person but, for some reason I have felt that becoming depressed will be allowing myself to give in to my conditions. More often than not I have to pretty much scrape the bottom of the barrel to find the smallest amount of motivation I will need to just about get through the day. Every time I try and stay positive something else pulls the rug from under my feet and leaves me doubting myself once again. I have had to go through this journey to realise that it is ok to not be ok. Pretending to be alright, painting a smile on, emulating confidence when you feel small and insignificant is more mentally damaging than being honest and sharing your burdens with the ones you love. The last thing they want is to see you suffering but, not know why.
My life has become this one big I DON’T KNOW. It feels like I am walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain, waiting for the next shit storm. So many years of education yet nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves and why it’s so important. Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are which leads us to feel shit about ourselves. We scroll through hours of Instagram posts, comparing ourselves to people who have the “perfect life”, the “ideal” body, the “must have” luxuries and “faultless” make up skills. What we forget is that most things we see have been edited and we are looking at them through rose tinted glasses. You get depressed because you know that you’re not what you should be but, measuring yourself to the people on your screen will fabricate a goal that will always be impossible for you to reach.
Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers or rashes. No blood tests to send people scurrying around in concern, just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience; a room in hell with only your name on the door. However, if you stop hating yourself for everything you aren’t and start loving yourself for everything you already are, the cloud will begin to lift. The speed at which you heal does not matter, forward is forward. I am surrounded by people that love and care for me which really does get me through each day and I could not do it without them. If you are suffering from mental illness just remember that you are a strong human being because nothing is more terrifying than battling with your own mind every single day.
I found a quote that I thought would be the best advice for anybody suffering:
“I know you’re sad, so I won’t tell you to have a good day. Instead, I advise you to have a day. Stay alive, feed yourself well, wear comfortable clothes and don’t give up on yourself just yet.
It’ll get better. Until then,
Have a day”
Thank you for reading 🙂