Today, I finally decided to write on a subject that I have held close to my heart for quite some time now, but which I lacked the strength and the will to do. Today, I will talk about depression, because I happen to suffer from it. And, they say the first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem and that you need help, a treatment, without which you are constantly preventing yourself from the possibility to get better. And I am going to be honest with you, it took me a while to admit I needed help, ten years to be exact.
So, it might sound idiotic, at least it did to me for a long time, but everything started on my eleventh birthday when I found that that my father had passed away. Well, I am saying it might sound idiotic, but I was just a child, and back then, that was the most and still is traumatic event of my life. Each person mourns differently, and the consequences which followed my mourning turned me into a person prone to depression. Some might find that to be extra dramatic, but eh, that’s my life and I have come to accept it.
Initially, I refused that this particular event took so much space in my existence, I blamed myself for not finding the strength to go on with my life after my father’s death. I thought I was so weak and I despised myself and all my feelings for it. But anyway, after years of interiorised rage, of nights spent crying myself to sleep, of afternoons spent in the dark, of insomnia, of anxiety, of concentration issues, of mood swings, of internet tests, but particularly after catching myself feeling worthless too often, I finally decided to go see someone. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and I started a treatment. I realise how privileged I am for having access to a psychotherapist and a to a psychiatrist free of cost, for which I am forever grateful for I do not know what/how I would have done it without them.
So, no, I am not insane. Nor am I suicidal or bipolar. Neither am I addicted to my pills. And no, it is not just a mood. Depression is a real illness and it saddens me that I took so long to understand that. The same way that diabetics have to take insulin, depressed people have to do breathing exercises, or actively practice self-care. It might sound ridiculous but while going through depressive episodes, it might seem almost superhuman for one to get in the shower, out of bed, or to pick up the phone or engage socially with others. But I would also like to had that it is totally possible, and acceptable for someone to suffer from depression and still be a functional human being.
On that note, I wish you all a fabulous women’s month, lent, or simply March.
Take care of yourself and your loved ones,