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When You Have Great Days, but Still Struggle With Depression

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Lately, I have been feeling good, really good — I’d go so far to say great! I even chuckle as I write this because I visualize Tony the Tiger saying, “Theyyyyy’re great!” I recently moved, have been consistently taking my medication, been getting a lot of outside sunshine (yay to Vitamin D) and I have been managing blips in the day a lot more productively and calmly.

The other day, as I was speaking with a dear friend, she mentioned that she was so taken by me and I had great capacity for something “mighty.” I smiled and thanked her for her generous words. Her emphatic and certain message left me uneasy. I swept aside those feelings and felt my grip on my great feelings to tighten. Over the next few days, I was encouraged by my Traumattire followers to “just be yourself” and that in itself, will be impactful. With that, I proceeded with my days and again, the message was brought to me and this time with a question, “What do you want to do?”

I immediately got defensive and began rattling off jobs I have been researching and applying to, as I have been unemployed for several months due to my mental illnesses (PTSD, anxiety, borderline personality disorder, depression) and various challenges dealing with commuting, people, incongruence. The response was an assurance that the push was not made due to financial strain, but rather a wasting of a talent and “calling” I may have. When the subject was brought up again, I clearly articulated that I felt pressure with these sorts of conversations. Although that present pressure subsided, we both left feeling defeated.

I am a high-functioning woman with mental illness and there are times I feel like crap and retreat, but then there are other times when I peek out. When I am met with someone’s expectations, even positive, good-intentioned ones, it can be debilitating. And then when I experience the other side of the coin, the lows are not validated or understood. The guilt I carry around, the weighty feeling that I may never materialize to be what everyone has always said I could be, that look in their eyes as if they’re sad for me. I carry my guilt back and wrap it in shame because I like my little world, it’s safe, its customized, it’s kind, it’s affordable, it comes with no pressure. I struggle with how to reconcile these things. I feel like I’m not enough. My great feelings wane when I have not hit any benchmark or milestone in those moments.

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Thinkstock photo via Cattallina

Originally published: October 17, 2017
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