Truth Be Told, My Depression Actually Does Define Me
My depression tells me I’m broken.
It’s a sentence that’s been repeating through my head for the past few days. I’m broken. My heart is broken. My soul is broken. My spirit feels like it is irrevocably broken as well. I feel as though this upward climb I’ve been fighting through has just gotten steeper and I, myself, have gotten weaker. I battle through each day with a smile on my face for fear that if someone sees the pain underneath, they’d see the real me.
I talk to my depression like it’s another person. It visits me from time to time and I never know how long it’s going to stay. We get into arguments and we battle constantly over who is going to prevail. I keep saying it’s me but right now I’m not sure if it is.
I break so easily on things I never thought would hurt me. I miss a time when I used to get through the day without an Ativan. I miss not having to remember to take my antidepressants every day. I miss not feeling like getting out of bed was a chore and that my feelings weren’t a burden.
Because right now, my feelings do feel like a burden. I feel like I can’t be honest with people without them worrying I’m going to do something rash. I’m tired of depression being this big piece of me I have to constantly admit to. It feels like something I just want to keep hidden and not let define me.
The truth is though, my depression does define me. It’s a part of me, a huge part. It contributes to all of my decisions and my strong paranoia of not being good enough.
When I start dating people, I have to tell them the reason I don’t have more than one glass of wine is because it screws up my antidepressants. I can’t just say that one sentence without the follow up explanation as to why I’m on antidepressants.
I hate feeling fragile. I hate the way someone looks at me after I tell them about my depression. I hate feeling as though something is inherently wrong with me even though deep down inside I feel like something’s wrong.
My mom once asked if it be the worst thing to be on antidepressants for the rest of my life. It wouldn’t be the worst thing, but then, it’s admitting this is a chronic mental illness I will battle with for the rest of my life. I don’t want to think of it as something I can’t cure because I don’t want to believe in its longevity.
But there’s a really weird thing that happens every once in a while when I share my story. I meet other people feeling the exact same way. I meet people who feel guilty that depression makes things feel a 100 times worse than they actually are. I meet people who feel as though while there really isn’t anything wrong in their life, they just can’t seem to be happy.
That’s the thing about depression, there’s no real reason to have it, you just do. It’s a part of your brain. It is something that is for some reason your reality. It’s mine too.
So I get through the bad days trying to remember that even though my brain is telling me I’m broken or that there’s something wrong with me, there really isn’t. I have a little bit of a harder battle than some, but a little easier of a battle than others.
You can’t compare your struggles to anyone. You can’t let your mental illness tell you you’re worthless. You need to find the inner strength you’ve found this far and pull from it when the days get tough.
Depression is a part of me but it doesn’t own me. It doesn’t own you either. Not now. Not ever.
This post originally appeared on Thought Catalog.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.
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