It was only a few months ago that I was “officially” diagnosed with depressive disorder (and anxiety disorder), something that I think I had for a while. Hearing someone say you have it doesn’t make the curtain close or make doves fly. It’s not the end of the show. If anything, the second act is just starting…
Sure everybody gets depressed, it is a normal part of life. You lose someone you love, you lose your job, you had a fight with a spouse or friend. It happens. What isn’t normal is when depression hangs around. It makes you not want to get out of bed. It makes your head hurt. You get angry for no reason and you’re just…there.
Oh, I’ve heard it all: “snap out of it” , “there’s nothing wrong with you”, “just fight it”. Really? Just fight it? And how do you propose I do that? Show where the button is to turn this crap off and I will gladly push it. Pray it away? And you don’t think I’ve already tried that?
Thanks, depression, for leaving me like a woman who has been violated and doesn’t know who the predator was. Thanks for making me look like a fool in front of everyone who knows me because I don’t “look” sick. Thanks for making me not enjoy life and all the things that come with it. Thanks for leaving me in almost constant pain everyday like I have the flu that won’t go away. Thanks for the headaches, for crying for no reason, the memory loss, the lack of concentration….what was I saying?
You can keep your mood swings and stomach cramps. I don’t want the feelings of loneliness you’re pushing off on me. And the suicide thoughts are so yesterday. Why can’t you just leave me alone? Why can’t you let me sleep at night and smile during the day? You have robbed me. Robbed me of my very life. You came like a thief in the night and returned everyday. Each day stealing a little more of me. But you don’t know me. I am telling people about you. They will be vigilant and watch for you. I have told them your name and what you are about. Teachers and parents; even doctors and nurses are taking note and spreading the word. Together we are fighting you. Eventually, we will be able to catch you before you have gotten away with too much.
I know you will never truly go away, you’re like the slow buzz creeping up on me from a sip of wine or liquor. But know that I will always try to fight you when I can. With support groups and Lexapro and suicide hotlines and continuing to write. I will fight you by helping others and sharing their pain. No longer will they have to feel alone. We will all fight you and someday win.
Until then, you can go straight to hell.