“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Ever since I heard about this project, I’ve been determined to contribute.
I start a post, then I stop.
I write a post, then I delete it.
I did not realize how difficult it would be.
One of the hardest things about depression, for me, is explaining it to someone who doesn’t have it. I’m no Jenny Lawson or Allie Brosh, and this is hard. I’m still thinking about a cop-out. I just gave you links to two of the best bloggers in the universe, who also happen to have struggled with depression, so…does that count as a post?
No? No. Ahem. Okay.
People who don’t suffer from depression mostly don’t understand it, and even people who mean well often don’t “get it.” They don’t know why you can’t just “get over it” or “look on the bright side.”
Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me it is just not that easy.
Depression is like this crushing weight, this mantle of sadness that you can’t take off. And it is so heavy. You don’t want to wear it, because it makes everything seem pointless and it drags the ground wherever you go. You try to stand up under the weight of it, but it is persistent, and it pulls you down and down until you feel so small and insignificant that you think you might disappear. And if it is really bad, you think everyone might be better off if you did.
Depression is sticky, like a spider’s web, and you’ll try and try, and you might think you finally got it all off, only to find that you can’t breathe and you can’t see and all you can feel is guilt – guilt that you’re crazy, and sticky, and always crying. Guilt for not being strong enough to throw off the cloak and clean up the webs. Guilt for being weak and for being in pain and for just wanting to hide.
Depression is like this bottomless pit and you just keep falling. You might reach out and try to stop the fall – or you might be so far down in the dark that you don’t think you’re worth saving.
Depression is a bubble that you can’t pop. You’re inside it, and you can see the shiny world outside, but you can’t quite reach it. So you go around in your bubble and pretend that you are really a part of the world, but you know you are separate. The bubble won’t let you feel the sun on your face and the laughter around you sounds flat and unreal.
I was diagnosed with depression as a teenager. Twenty years later and it’s still a bitch. But I’m still here. I might just be putting one foot in front of the other some days, but I’m still here, and I’m still moving forward.