Dear Depression

You shake me to my core

You slowly take until I don’t feel anymore

Some days are good, many days are bad

I am sick and tired of feeling sad

I wish I could just snap out of it

Most days I feel stuck inside a pit

Maybe someday I’ll know what it’s like

To get to be happy and learn to love life.

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I am diagnosed with Persistent Depressive Disorder also known as Dysthymia which is a mild, but long term type of depression. At my worst I’ve had almost as many bad days as good days during the week. My bad days look like irritability, loss of emotional feeling, and fatigue. I would find myself having a good day, but wrapped up wondering when a bad day would hit. Bad days would come from the time I woke up until I woke up the next day and there was nothing I could do to make it go away. While emotions are sometimes difficult, it is so much harder to feel nothing about anything. 

Most people are aware of the characteristic of depression where people don’t want to get out of bed. Most days I find myself laying in bed awake, but not able to physically pull myself out of the bed. I have stared at the wall for hours at times because I couldn’t get up. Some days I wonder what the purpose of life is and why we are all here. I often feel no interest in anything and spend my days at home sleeping because it’s too difficult to get dressed and leave the house. 

The thing about PDD is individuals normalize their feelings or behaviors because it is long lasting. You begin feeling like the irritable, sad, sleepy person is just who you are. With PDD depressive symptoms have to be occurring for two or more years. 

I saw a therapist for 4 years in high school due to coming into state custody at 15 years old after disclosing sexual abuse. I also had athletics and school which made it difficult for me to have time to be a sad person, however the characteristics of sleeping often and irritability remained. I then went to college where I discontinued therapeutic services when I feel I needed it the most. Being away from family, wrestling full time, cutting weight, going to school, working, and dealing with my personal life was very difficult, but I never realized I needed help. I believe I went through several difficult spurts of depression throughout college. 

I’m the type of person that tries to handle issues independently. I believe I have had to care for myself the majority of my life so it makes sense to continue into adulthood handling issues alone. I kept disregarding the possibility of depression until I realized it was taking over my life. I spoke with my therapist from high school and she suggested taking medication to regulate the serotonin in my brain. I always prided myself on being 24 years old and having never taken medication for mental health. After all, I’m supposed to be this tough person who is able to handle anything and can talk about my trauma. I get so wrapped up in being a certain person for everyone else, I lose sight of my own health. I quickly realized I wasn’t as tough as I though I was.

When you’ve lived a childhood of observing domestic violence, constant drug use in the home, experienced physical abuse where you’ve almost died, and endured weekly sexual abuse for 10+ years you wonder why you ever thought you could make it out without mental health diagnoses. 

I began taking the medication and immediately saw results with the first pill I took. I felt no irritability and rarely had feelings of dissociation. The crazy thing about medication is, you can’t miss days or else the symptoms return and sometimes they’re worse than before which happens to me often. 

I’m sharing this because we don’t talk about mental health enough. Someone who may seem happy with not a care in the world could be dealing with things you know nothing about. If you know someone who is diagnosed with depression or may be depressed, just check in on them whether it irritates them or not. I know there are times where I wonder what it would be like to be gone. I often tell people I don’t think about hurting myself, but when I think of people who commit suicide, I understand because I live the same pain. This is why it’s important to check in. My friends and family constantly call or text to see how I’m doing which helps me feel someone cares. 

I’ve realized life is hard and for me, it never stops being hard. Sometimes it makes me chuckle when a new significant negative life event happens, because it happens so often I’m not shocked anymore. There’s always going to be something difficult happening in your life and it’s all about how you choose to react. The world stops for no one whether you lose someone, are sexually abused, have mental health diagnoses, etc. Life doesn’t care what you’re going through, because it always continues with or without you. The purpose of the hard times are to see if you’ll allow it to make you stronger or let it wither you away. 

Depression, I want you to know you will not win in the end. You may beat me some days, but you will not take my life. Some things that keep me going are my job, my family, and knowing other people need me. If you’re having negative thoughts about yourself always look at the adverse thoughts. You have a purpose whether you’ve found it yet or not. Make sure you have someone you could call if you start having negative thoughts. The worst thing you can do to yourself is handle depression alone. 

 

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