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Community Voices

Covid & Guilt are taking me down

I’ve had Covid over a week now. I’ve had it pretty bad. Sickest I’ve ever been. I’m sure the fact that has had me in bed all this time isn’t helping. But I had the biggest breakdown I’ve ever had this year. Moved home with my parents for 3 months (I am 50 with 4 children and a husband). That’s how bad it got. I couldn’t stop thinking the kids deserved a better mum. But I was on my way up. Back at home. Back at work. Feeling positive. Then 6 weeks in, Covid. And now I’m sitting here crying about what a terrible mum I am. How all I ever wanted was to be a good mum. All I can think about are all the things I’ve gotten wrong. How me loving them with all my heart had not stopped them having a mum who had mental illness issues all their childhood. I am so heartbroken. How do I get back up with this pain I feel.

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Community Voices

Today was the first day I felt good about going to work. After a week of only working 2 days due to depression I hope this is the beginning of feeling good. Here’s hoping. 🤞 #Depression #MentalHealth #Work

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Desiree Nunez

Don't Underestimate My Recovery From Depression

When I’m squinting because “my contacts are bothering me,” I’m truly holding back the tears that could burst out at any moment. If you’re going to invoke tears, please have your shoulder ready for me to cry on. I don’t cry in front of people – if I cry in front of you, I’m truly hurting and you are trusted beyond reason. When I ask you to reassure me of the truth I already know, I am struggling to distinguish between the truth and the lies in my head – I just need another voice to interrupt the internal dialogue and confirm what is the truth. I’m not stupid or wanting reassurance out of attention-seeking motivations. Genuinely, I need another voice to confirm the rationales I typically hold as true. I struggle to maintain these during rough episodes. When I say I’m always sad, that doesn’t mean I’m never happy – it just means there is always an underlying blanket of angst beneath everything. No matter what the circumstances. Life could be beautiful and I still struggle with that cloud of depression. There are happy moments. There are sad moments. There are exciting moments. But – at the end of the day, I have to fight the wave of hopelessness and turmoil that attempts to engulf me. When I say “I’m trying,” I am saying I am doing all I can to get better. I am doing every single thing I can. It’s a painful process and chronic condition. It’s not perfect. I am working toward progress. Taking medicine is a scary step – side effects can be awful. Finding a medicine that works can be even scarier. Counseling can be awkward. Finding the right counselor can be even more awkward. Trying not to cause financial stress while seeking medical and psychological relief is near impossible. Trying to maintain relationships that last during all of this is difficult. I am wholeheartedly trying. Please don’t underestimate that. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don’t want to be this way. I want to be healed. I want my mind to be cleared. This thorn in my flesh is too much to handle most days. This thorn has me unappealing to many for friendship or romance. And that’s OK – just know I am not even slightly OK with not being OK. I recognize this is the state I am in and I have been fighting against it every day. I struggle daily – and it is not because I haven’t attempted to shine a light on this darkness. Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Unsplash photo via María Victoria Heredia Reyes.

Community Voices

Dropping down

I hate that feeling when you are doing ok and then something happens and you feel yourself dramatically drop mood into a depressive black hole. It's not fair. I wonder if it's my anxiety transforming my mood.....the more I give myself a hard time about myself the more I start to shut down into a depressive state like 'ok fine you win'. #CheckInWithMe

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Community Voices
Becci Nicholls

How to Explain Depression to Your Husband, a Letter From a Wife

Dear Husband, I love you dearly, more than anything in this whole world. I think you already know this. I know you love me too, I just forget sometimes. Depression clouds my mind and fills me with horrid thoughts about how unlovable and worthless I am. Sometimes I believe you, sometimes I believe depression. I know you prefer the good days when I’m happy and not anxious or snappy, and I wish I could have these days every day. But I can’t. I feel the cloud approaching and it petrifies me. Sometimes I tell you and sometimes I don’t. Please, if you notice the cloud before I tell you, just hug me tight and tell me we’ll fight it together. Please don’t ask me if I’m OK — my automatic answer will be yes. In reality, it’s a big no. You see, depression can make you feel ashamed. If depression is the third wheel in your relationship, you don’t have to figure it out alone. Join our Let’s Talk Depression group to get advice from people who’ve been there. I know sometimes I overreact about the smallest things and get angry, but please be patient with me. Forgetting the bread will not be the real reason. It’s that I feel like I’m losing control over my mind. Depression is very clever, you see – it builds up a wall of anger piece by piece, and you never notice it until it’s so big it begins to topple over. I’m sorry you get the brunt of my anger on cloudy days. Please forgive me. Please. Just tell me you love me and leave me to calm down. I know it’s hard to help somebody through depression if you’ve never experienced it yourself. I understand. I totally get it. Just listen to me and ask about the cloudy days. I can’t just bring it up in conversation. Depression clouds your mind. I need you to break the silence. There will be lots of times I feel like you’d be better off without me, or that my children deserve a better momma. Sometimes I’ll tell you. Most of the time I won’t. Sometimes I can go for months without those thoughts crossing my mind, and other times I think about them every second of every day for weeks. That’s the scary truth. Depression is vile — a vile, nasty monster. Please always keep an eye on me, but know no matter how many times you tell me I’m worth it I probably won’t believe it on cloudy days – but please never stop telling me. Ever. I love our children more than anything, but sometimes I feel like a failure. I feel like a rubbish momma. My mind nags me and tells me other mommas do things better and love better than me. I feel like I always fall short. I find it so hard being a momma on cloudy days, but I try so hard to not let them notice the clouds. I hope you know I try. I haven’t self harmed since February 2010, but the urge often consumes me. When the black cloud is here it consumes my mind. I fight it so hard for myself, my children and for you. I know it’s hard to understand why I crave it, I can’t explain it myself. It’s like an old addiction that comes to hurt me when it smells the dark cloud. One day I hope it won’t ever cross my mind again. I know I don’t talk about these black clouds often, but I want to. I hate the silence it forces me to keep. There’s a certain freedom when it comes to talking openly about the monster. Help me find that freedom. Depression makes me feel tired. Sometimes the fatigue is so bad I just want to cry. Every bone hurts. Sometimes I lay awake at night and worry about things that won’t even happen. Squeeze my hand tight if you’re awake too. Sometimes it takes every bit of motivation to get up in the morning, but I never let you in on this. A new day often scares me. I wonder, will I cope? Will the sky be blue or black? Is the weather nice? Every single morning is hard, but seeing you makes it easier. I want to publicly thank you for loving me and supporting me. You are the best. Yours forever x Follow this journey on Swords and Snoodles.

Kayla Balserak

20 'Legit' Self-Care Ideas (for When Bubble Baths Just Don't Cut It)

I get so annoyed when I see a list of self-care ideas for when someone is feeling depressed and it has things like: Do your hair! Take a bubble bath! Paint your nails! Clearly these people don’t struggle with depression. There is a difference between legit self-care and pampering. Most people who struggle with depression, or any mental illness for that matter, struggle with actually taking care of themselves. Here’s a list of realistic self-care tips for anyone who might be having a tough day and needs something to do to take care of themselves. Get out of bed. Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Shower, even if you just get in and rinse off! The water might feel amazing for you. Eat something. Even if it’s just a cracker or some bread. Just get something in your belly! Walk out onto your back porch. Stand there for 10 seconds and then if you want, go back inside. Great job, you made it outside! If you feel like it, take a short walk. Get some sunshine! Put on your favorite TV show or movie. Check your email and clear your inbox. Respond to anything that is important. Change your sheets. Check your actual mail. Stay hydrated. Fill up a water bottle and keep it close by. Take your medication. Stretch. This can be a small quick stretch on the couch or some yoga. Check your text messages and answer those from people who are important or worried about you. Pay any bills you might have to avoid late fees. Change your clothes if you didn’t when you first got out of bed. I f you have a pet, make sure they are good on their food and water. Nothing feels worse than your pet having an empty water or food bowl and you not being aware of it! Do a creative hobby that you like. Open up the blinds to let the light come into your house. Watch a funny video. Laugh. I know it feels impossible to get up and start the day, but you can do it. It takes one step. Even if it is just to the couch, you did something. It is OK if all you did today was exist. We all have rough days, but make sure you take care of yourself so you don’t make it worse.