Why I Want to Send 'Save the Date' Announcements for My Depression
Remind me to order post cards for next winter. Not Christmas cards, not engagement announcement cards (been there, done that!), not any celebration cards — just a reminder card. Do they make “depression announcement” cards? I think that’ll be an efficient way to inform my family and friends about how I feel for a few months out of the year. It’ll read:
Save the date!
Major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern
Fall 2017 – Spring 2018
I’ll hire a photographer to take beautiful pictures of me smiling in a flowery meadow holding a blackboard with the date on it or whatever other cheesy “announcement” pictures people take. And on the back it will read:
It is with overwhelming excitement that I announce the return of my depression! During the next few months I will be unpredictably moody and impossibly exhausted although I will keep pretending to the best of my ability that I’m fine. I will feel and look tired, and throughout this time, many of you will unnecessarily point that out to me. It will become very difficult to focus on any one thing and simple tasks will seem unbearable to me, causing me to not be able to complete them. I will have trouble getting out of bed, and staying out of bed throughout the day, regardless of how long I sleep during the night. I will feel sad for no reason, angry for no reason and tend to take things personally without intending to. I will feel lonely, while at the same time not having a desire to talk to anyone for feeling like I have nothing good to say. I will feel rejected by my loved ones even though they do not mean to reject me. I will need a lot more attention, love and care than I usually require, although I may never show it. Due to my constant fatigue and extreme lack of focus, I will not have the willpower to exercise regularly like I normally do, or maintain a healthy diet, which will in turn cause me to gain weight. You will most likely notice said weight gain, and you are encouraged to ignore the urge to make a comment about it to me or others. Trust me, I’ll be very aware of all the changes my body goes through during this time. I will try as best as I can to remain positive and may feel an overwhelming responsibility to keep taking care of everyone around me and help solve all problems, but in reality, I will wish that someone would take care of me. All hugs and kisses are welcome and encouraged during this time. All offers to do absolutely anything for me may be accepted, including but not limited to chores around the house, errands, cooking, even simply coming over and keeping me company. Any and all inquiries about how I am doing will be replied with “I’m good,” even though that may not be true. They are appreciated nonetheless. All forms of affection, love, appreciation and acknowledgement that you are simply thinking about me will be crucial to get me through this time and speed up my recovery. I ask you to remind me I am loved, for I will probably be questioning that repeatedly in my head. And lastly, please, do not forget I love you.
And I will mail them to all who are closest to me in hopes that they will be better informed about what I’m going through, and remember that inside a shell of depression, someone they love still exists.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Unsplash photo via Lila Miller.