Some days it feels impossible just to get out of bed. All I want to do is hide from the world, escape into the dark recesses of my mind and shut everyone else out. There have been times I did not go to work because I just couldn’t gather the strength and energy to do it. Sometimes getting out of bed is not the hard part, but dealing with things that come up during the day is. And other times getting up and about and making it through the day isn’t what’s difficult, it’s the thinking of what’s to come. Living with depression and anxiety is a bit different for everyone, and just because one has these diagnoses does not mean that they stay withdrawn all day every day – it varies. It also does not mean one is lazy, would make a poor employee and/or student, be a bad parent, etc. It does not mean they cannot be a productive and valuable member of society. Many people who have never personally experienced depression have a hard time understanding why one cannot ‘just snap out of it’ or ‘get over it.’ Many who are depressed also have feelings of being inadequate, being all alone, being misunderstood, being ‘different’ or ‘weird.’ They may have experienced rejection, loss, or failure. Some have been the subject of bullying, shaming, harassment, or hazing. Some have been abused – verbally, physically, sexually, or emotionally. And some also struggle with addiction, the need to inflict self-harm, felt or been suicidal, or are generally confused about aspects of themselves, or are uncomfortable in their own skin or body. And there are those who have never experienced the things just mentioned. Depression and anxiety are complicated and professionals are still trying to pinpoint a more exact cause or causes.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety since my early teenage years, and more recently postpartum depression as well. I personally have been ridiculed, bullied, sexually harassed, taunted because I am different from what some think is ‘normal,’ felt I wasn’t good enough, experienced crippling failure, battled alcoholism, been suicidal on more than one occasion, and have had general feelings of hatred towards myself and my body. I have scars both inside and out. I have been deeply hurt by loved ones as well as strangers. I have also been the cause of pain towards those who love me, causing regret that I must now live with. I have seen numerous therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists over the years, and have been placed on every different anti-depressant on the market. I have been on the current med I am on for years now and am doing much better, however, there are days that are still a hard-fought fight. I find it very difficult to open up to others and have many walls I have built around myself. With time, I will share my personal experiences here and how I have worked through various challenges and hard times, and how I get through the day.