A few months ago I caught myself feeling nostalgic…about being depressed.
You see, it was the pre-Christmas season, and I was feeling a little stressed. I happened to be watching a show in which the main character had fallen into a deep depression following some traumatic incident or other. There she was, curled up under a blanket, staring blankly out the window, looking messy and beat down and terrible. And I only had one very clear, very vivid thought.
“It would be so easy.”
You see, that’s something no one ever wants to say about being depressed. It’s the easy part. Giving in and letting it take over. Giving up on everything you used to love doing because it just gets too hard. Sleeping 23 out of 24 hours a day because everything else seems too damned difficult and exhausting. Staring at nothing and letting the noise in your head just take over.
The other thing no one will tell you? That recovery is the most difficult thing you will ever experience. That keeping the noise at bay is a daily struggle. It never goes away. It gets easier to manage. It fades and sometimes disappears almost completely…but it’s always there. And it’s scary. And messy. And frustrating. If anyone would have told me how badly it sucks sometimes – well, I probably would have just stayed under my blanket and kept right on napping.
BUT THE STRUGGLE IS SO VERY WORTH IT.
That first time after a long dark period of bleh that you catch yourself laughing and smiling and having a good time…and you actually mean it and feel it and own it? Amazing. The realization that you can be happy again, and love again, and live again? Bliss.
The moral of this story? You absolutely can live through depression. And you can live – and live well – with depression. As hard as it is, it’s not the end. There will be times when it seems like it’ll never get easier, and it’ll never get brighter, and it will always be this hard. And then it isn’t. The down days will still be there, but they’ll be fewer and farther between. And then you’ll have more good days than bad. And then the feeling good time will be just as easy as the feeling bad time.
It can, and it will get better. Take it from someone who’s been there.
About Jessica Wilson
My name is Jessica Wilson, I’m 35 years old and single. The single is (mostly) by choice, the 35 is not. I am mom to 5 furbabies, have become an avid runner, and own and operate a small business. I’ve been dealing with mental illness for as long as I can remember. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety in my early 20’s, and continue to struggle with it or manage quite well, depending on the day. It very obviously runs in my family – my grandmother was bipolar, and mental illness can be traced back at least 3 generations on my maternal side, in various forms.