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The John Mayer Song That Perfectly Describes My Depression

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“Suppose I said / colors change for no good reason / Words will go / from poetry to prose.” — “Not Myself” by John Mayer

These lyrics have never been truer to me as in the moments when I’m slipping back into depression. While I’ve always connected with this song and the beautiful lyrics, they hold a new meaning as I start to feel I’m being robbed of my own self when my anxiety and depression thickens.

Depression robs you of yourself.

You look back on months past when your medication was working. When you were happy. When you were yourself, excited by the experiences of each day, happy to be with the ones you loved and cherished. Thankful for the downtime, when you could relax and lounge on your couch rather than looking for ways to be busy. Able to say, “Today, I want to…..”

Whenever I reflect on previous months during these periods of depression, I start noticing how much of myself is missing. I have no enjoyment of activities. I can’t make a decision of what to do. My tired mind just wants to numb out and leave the world for a bit. The person I was five months ago is no longer in this body.

At the best moments, it’s almost as if I’m an empty shell. My true self is gone and I have no other inhabitants to take its place. At the worst moments, I’m filled with an anxiety-ridden, over-thinker who can’t keep her emotions straight.

This is how I know I’m not myself.

People will give you facts and symptoms to look out for. Exhaustion. Weeping. Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. These are observable and noticeable — categories to fit yourself into as if to make you feel less “crazy” and “abnormal.” It’s almost as if knowing the symptoms of depression is supposed to make you feel better. But it doesn’t take away the terrifying realization that you’re not yourself — that you’re a stranger living your “normal” life. It doesn’t dampen the question that rears its ugly head from time to time:

Will I ever be myself again?

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Thinkstock photo via Mike_Kiev

Originally published: August 29, 2017
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