So some of you may have seen me tweet a little about my issues with depression or maybe not. Fact is, I’ve been in denial. Maybe I should back it up and explain a little something. My family has been my basis for comparison for years. I did not want to be them. My mom went deaf at 25 years old so I was overly careful with my hearing. I’m 34 and both my ears are fine. In fact, from being so careful around loud noises, my hearing’s better than fine. Go me! My sister was diagnosed with bipolar (after a bazillion doctors, they decided she wasn’t bipolar but had ADHD. Not sure what that means, but anyways) so I always thought that any mental illness meant I was like her. When I felt I might be suffering from depression in college, I told a few friends, but I didn’t discuss it with my family. I saw a few therapists and the mild depression passed.
That brings us to the last few years. Life has not gone the way I planned. With these potholes have come frustration and bouts of depression. At first, they were stints that lasted a few weeks to maybe 2 months but then they were over, just like in college. Then things started to change. I was constantly tired. No amount of sleep helped. I had no energy and therefore didn’t do too much. I gained a serious amount of weight. Things that would generally make me happy felt like “eh”. I didn’t feel up to seeing my friends because I was just too tired. Some told me that it was due to my hitting my 30’s. I talked to my doctor and we started to investigate a possible thyroid problem. It was often elevated, but after a few rounds of tests, she concluded that a thyroid issue wasn’t likely. She suggested I see an endocrinologist.
I figured the “just barely functional” way of life was the way things were going to be. I knew I had symptoms of depression, but it had taken me almost a year to really notice that’s what it was and I thought the depression was a symptom of something else. Then it dawned on me, what if everything I’ve been going through is just plain depression? Because, why does it have to be something else? Isn’t depression enough?
All my life, I’ve fought having any kind of mental illness or admitting it let alone medicine for it. Finally, I realized that just because I may have depression, I’m not damaged. I’m not broken. I just need some help. I discussed this with my doctor and we decided that trying medicine is a good idea. I haven’t had a good quality of life for 2 years now. I want to remember what really happy feels like instead of numb and no feeling or crying all the time. Depression has hindered my relationships and my writing. I won’t let it do that anymore. I’m not weak to admit I need help. I’m not weak to use medicine to help. I deserve the best life I can have and if medicine can do that for me, then why wouldn’t I try it?
We shall see how this goes. I don’t want to get my hopes too high because nothing is perfect, but I’m hopeful for a change. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that something is wrong. It doesn’t make me my mom or my sister or anyone else. I am me. I am fabulous (most of the time) and I have depression. And that’s ok. It doesn’t make me any less me.