Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wasn't sure what to blog about today.  I didn't do any crafts, no new recipes, just a regular day.  I thought about introducing you guys to some of my favorite websites, but hadn't narrowed it down to one.

I randomly checked my Facebook, and saw that Allie Brosh had finally posted a new Hyperbole and a Half.  Yay!  I love her!  She's so funny and her drawings are adorable. I just love the way she thinks.

Super excited, I hit the link and read the post.  Adventures in Depression.  Not so funny.  Well, okay, it had funny moments.  Mostly though, it was sad.  She tells her readers about her past few months and her depression.  Just reading it made me feel like putting an arm around her and giving her a big hug.  Letting her know that I understand.

I understand what it's like to have that voice in your head that is constantly telling you what a waste you are.  I know what it's like to feel like you only have friends because of what you give them.  "She only likes you because you make her laugh."  "He only likes you because he's friends with your husband."  "You really bug them but they're too polite to tell you to get lost."

I know what it's like to have a huge pile of laundry or dishes that is so big and has been there for so long that I hardly see it any more.  I stop seeing the mess as a self-preservation tool.  If I really saw the mess then I'd have one more voice telling me what a horrible housekeeper I am.

I know what it's like not to care about what I look like because caring would mean that I was worth the time it would take to fix myself up.

I still suffer from depression.  I always will.  I'm lucky, I was blessed with an amazing husband who saw the signs in me and demanded I get treatment.  It's still an uphill battle.  Even when I get my medicine right my body can become tolerant of it and I have to adjust my dosage.  I still have good days and bad days.  Even with the medicines every day is a struggle.

Even little things that other people take for granted like getting dressed or making myself something to eat are a struggle.  When I say struggle that's exactly what I mean.  It's a fight.  I'm fighting against those nasty voices in my head that are telling me I'm not worth it, I don't deserve it, why waste it on me.  I'm fighting against the apathy and the physical pains.  Simple things like this can be completely exhausting.

Just getting my kids ready for school can wipe me out for the rest of the day.  Grocery shopping isn't something I've been able to do on my own for months.  The last time I tried it took me 4 hours and I was exhausted for three days afterward.

I'm not typing all this out because I want you to feel sorry for me.  When I read Allie's story I wanted to give her a hug and get her some help.  While I welcome hugs, I am already getting the help I need.  I'm actually doing pretty well right now.

I'm typing all this out for two reasons.

First, for anyone else who might be feeling this way.  It's not normal.  There are ways to feel better.  Talk to somebody.  Anybody.  Try medication if you haven't, try therapy, if those things haven't worked for you feel free to talk to me.  I'll try to help you find some solutions.  Just keep trying.

Second,  for those of you who don't know how this feels.  Try to be a little more understanding.  You can't tell somebody with depression to "Just cheer up!" any more than you can tell somebody in a wheelchair to "Just get up and walk!"  Yet mental illness is looked down on as some kind of moral failing.  I'm a talented, smart, loving person who also happens to deal with mental illness.  Just like a diabetic has to manage their illness, so do I.

This is a great article for helping people understand "hidden" diseases.  The lady who wrote that is talking about Lupus, but she might as well be describing my depression and anxiety.  It's a really great analogy.

I believe that mental illness is a war.  Every day is a constant battle.  Medication and therapy are just a few of my weapons against depression.  I also believe that this is probably a battle I will fight for the rest of my life.  I could let that last part overwhelm me, but I won't for one good reason:  I believe that as long as I keep fighting and doing the best I can do then I'm winning.  As soon as I give up I lose.  I'm too stubborn to stop fighting.  The things I would lose if I let my illness take over my life are too precious to me.  I won't lose my kids or my husband to something like this.  I will fight every moment of every day because even if those voices tell me I'm not worth it, I know in my heart that my family is worth it.

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 1


King Family said...

Amen...mine's a little different, but overall amen.

The Wizzle said...

Hear, hear. Mental illness, and "hidden" illnesses, are the kind of thing that you mock and ignore and treat lightly...until you can't anymore, for one sad reason or another. And then you see them everywhere, and you feel sad and angry that other people don't.