I am feeling compelled to continue writing about living with depression and all the layers that come with it. I think it can be confusing, but needs to be talked about so the stigma of it gets eradicated and it can be treated just like any other illness that a person is saddled with.
For years, I have trudged through the muck with all of the lies strapped to my back, feeling like everything was my fault, like I didn’t deserve to be alive, much less to be sad. But, depression isn’t that simple. It isn’t just about sadness. It has many different faces, hides behind cloaks and bears a variety of teeth. It is different and similar for every person, just like RP or Fibromyalgia, and so many other maladies.
I wrote something in a comment on yesterday’s post about having to choose, every day, whether or not to climb the mountain that is depression. One of the most important things I have realized in this journey through mental illness is that I may not have a choice about living with depression, but I do have choices about how to deal with it. The older I get, the more choices I discover and the quicker I can get climbing.
I have had breakdowns that have lasted months and left me unable to move or talk to anyone, and I have had dives into depression that I come out of more quickly. Today, I feel better than I did yesterday, or a week ago, because I woke up choosing to face the day differently, to turn down the volume of depression and to take paths I have discovered that will help me feel better. This may sound easy and you may wonder why the fuck I don’t choose to do this every day; believe me, if I could, I would. It isn’t easy, but it is possible. Sometimes.
Like RP, depression doesn’t just go away. I know this now. There is no happy pill, no magic eraser, but there is my own strength, my own resolve, and even when depression is telling me that I don’t have either of those things, they are still there. Depression has a heavy fist, but I have a whisper that travels and the courage to open my eyes.
Just as I do with RP, I try to look at and write about depression as honestly as I can. I also use the writing about it as a tool to find my voice and to see the shapes of the world with new eyes. So today, I choose to climb and feel every muscle, every ache and pain and all of the joy. I choose to get up and face the day and see what it brings.