Saturday, 5 October 2013

Cheer Up Already

For me the worst thing about depression is when it sneaks up on, when you honestly do believe that you're in a great place and doing really well and anxiety is the furthest thing from your mind. Then you realise that you've not left the flat in three days, the thought of doing work rather then watch YouTube videos fills you with a cold dread and you can't imagine being happy again for some time. Which means you are not happy right now and actually you haven't been for over a week, oh sure you've laughed at things and been glad there's ice cream in the freezer, but not being actively miserable is not the same as being happy.

Sometimes we need more introspection, I have been told there are people capable of recognising when they're beginning a downward spiral in the first instances of it happening. I've been told that I need to be "more mindful" and to check in with myself throughout the day and ask myself how I'm really feeling. The problem is I am really good at lying, especially to myself. 


I spent years (lots of them) not so much avoiding asking for help but resolutely denying that anything was wrong. Depression was a thing that happened, it happened to lots of people and there was no shame in it, my school did lots of work teaching us about why there shouldn't be any stigmas attached to mental health issues. Theoretically, I agreed whole heartedly that there is no shame in asking for help or receiving it, there nothing more to be embarrassed about having depression as there is epilepsy. But I also understand, on a cognitive level, that chocolate fudge brownies aren't a good breakfast (who am I kidding, they're the BEST breakfast) it's better to wash dishes after a meal so they're ready when you next want to use them than to have to wash up before you start cooking. 

Depression became then a thing that happened to other people, they had nothing to be ashamed of and they should be helped, but my problems weren't as bad as theirs and my life was pretty great, what right did I have to complain when there were people with real problems struggling every day. The thing is illness doesn't care, like the actress who gets a chest infection and loses her voice on opening night depression makes very few allowances for your feelings and instead crushes over them. 

Just because you know something doesn't mean you accept it and just because you think something is true when it applies to other people doesn't mean you extend yourself the same respect. The worst thing about depression is when you realise that in order to nip it in the bud you should have acted three days ago.

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