I’ve been debating with myself heavily on whether or not to write this post. First of all, I don’t want to come off as preachy, or add to the endless mountain of blogs about “here are my woes and misbegotten tales” especially when there are others who could say it so much better than I could. Also, I don’t want this to set the tone for every thing I write from here on, I’m hoping this can be something I do once, or very little and move on from. Then there’s also knowing that once I put this out there for all to see, there it is. It can’t be put back into the box. Regardless, I feel like if it can help any one person feel the slightest bit better about themselves, then it is worth the effort involved.
I have depression and anxiety. Have for most of my life, even as far back as my childhood. Some of it is hereditary, biological, some was learned behavior from growing up with a depressed single mother, some was the result of being abused as a child. I live with it every day of my life.
I have days where it is really hard to participate in the normal world, days where it’s hard to even get out of bed, to dress, brush my hair, etc. I do as well as possible because I take medications, and I see my doctor regularly. I know a lot of people doing much worse than I am, so I am grateful for where I am in my life.
I do not think less of myself for how I am, or how I feel, or how I react to situations. I’ve learned long ago that worrying that I am not behaving how others would is an expectation put on me by others, by society. I refuse to base my self esteem and self worth on how others think I should be/act/react.
Being depressed is not something anyone can just “snap out of”. Going out and “making friends” is not a solution either. It is something that affects every aspect of our lives, it is crippling at times, like an irrational fear building up inside until we feel utterly consumed by a torrent of emotions threatening to sweep us away, never to be seen again. Like being caught in the eye of a storm, one small move and we’ll be torn apart by gale force winds.
I get that people who don’t live with depression cannot understand how devastating it can be, but the least you can do is be supportive. Don’t judge, don’t impose your moods on the depressed people. Just be there for them, care for them. Show them that you care.
It’s fine to make suggestions to try to get them to step out of their comfort zone, I myself try to do something every day that I don’t really want to do, just to step out of myself; however, don’t be forceful. Don’t make them feel like they failed when they can’t do it. Just be encouraging, and patient. There is no cure, and they will not get over it.
There are still days when I have to take a deep breath, close my eyes and force myself to get off my backside. Sometime’s it takes a few tries, I won’t deny that. I do know that I’d not be able to get up and try if I had someone standing over me making me feel bad every time I failed, or fumbled.
So, when you’re feeling broken, or like you’re not like everyone else… please remember that I am here feeling just like you and I am cheering you on with every fiber of my being. You may fail from time to time, but get back up and try again. It’s not a race, it’s a journey.
Take care my dears.