Two years, since my official diagnosis, many things happened since then. My depression and anxiety became part of my life, of our lives to be precise. Depression became my friend, out of my enemy. I know it well. I’m able to control it and feed it slowly. Knowing when I have to rest and when I can be happy with it. The enemy who turned out to be a friend.
Two years officially, unofficially, god knows how long.
Before my diagnosis, before everything went down in flames and I was at the end of my wits, and even longer than my pain which led me to consider taking my own life I struggled. Years of being unkind to myself, drinking, taking drugs in my teens, unusual upbringing and moving out from my parent’s house in the age of 16. Smacked, beat up, shouted at, poor and rejected for most of my life. In short – my depression had time to crush me a long time ago, but it didn’t.
Depression is not a sign of weakness. It means you’ve been strong for far too long.
Knowing what’s best is a key
Now, I am able to recognise what it’s coming, how to deal with it and how to make sure that my depression is in check. It’s like living with an attached person which you don’t like but using energy from your body. I learned to feed my depression just right enough to have my balance in order. I know when I need to travel to the wilderness when I need to chill and do nothing. I also recognise when I can take over and be myself. Optimistic, happy, when to celebrate my ups, knowing when my downs are approaching too.
In the beginning, I wanted to stop taking my meds. Every time when I felt better for a longer period of time, I was brave enough to throw my meds on the side, thinking – I can do it. Two weeks later, my depression was taking over. It absorbed me whole, without my own voice, without any choice. Venoms like darkness, pain and bitterness. Swallowing me with no exception.
Above all, I learned how to tame my inner darkness but I had to learn hard way. When low moments approached, we have been hitting the road. Visiting nature, meeting friends, being aware and kind to myself.
Don’t be shy, ask for help. Talk about your pain, talk bout your feelings. Demand to be heard, work your way with a psychiatric nurse and find the right dosage of meds. It’s not selfish, it’s the right thing to do. Therefore, I am able to say to my partner – I’m not ok, it’s not to bad, but it’s not ok. We talk about it and we are trying to figure it out and to find the right activity or the right thing to do at this point.
I used to go for a ride, soon after we left the house I was regretting it. I wanted to go back, now I know that while being too low and anxious, being out, it’s the last thing I want. Sleep, cosy afternoon, playing a game on my phone or listening to the audiobook is just right. For little low, with no heavy anxiety, forest or open nature. I know it.
However, give yourself time to know your enemy. Give yourself a chance to befriend it and let go of the idea that you need to be fixed. There is nothing wrong with you. There is just a glitch in the system. And we can slowly allow ourself to live with it. So, when the time is right, we will start to make this glitch smaller and smaller. Sometimes depression will fade away just to give us kick in the teeth. Been there, done that, but don’t worry. As long as you aware, as long you accept it and want to know of it, more. You are the winner.
More about mental health here.
You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.