Ebbs + Flows
The depression comes and goes. Some mornings I can wake up one morning and feel like the most powerful being to grace the planet, if not the universe. Then there are days where I feel fragile. Where the smallest thing can make me want to collapse into myself and wish I were anywhere but here. I am triggered by things so ordinary in my life that it is hard for me to even wrap my head around being bothered by whatever it might be; something I see, or just a thought that runs through my mind.
Dealing with these ebbs and flows would be something you would think I would have a hold on after at least six years of experiencing them but I do not think I am any better at it now as a twenty-three year old woman closing in on my goals, working a job I actually enjoy, and being in the process of getting a mortgage and buying a condo. I look at my life and it seems too beautiful to be true. Not to diminish the personal struggles, family issues, etc. that I go through and keep private, but I can recognize I live a very, very great life. But still I sit alone in my room and cry to myself more often than I would like to admit.
And the worse part is I still feel shame around it. Weakness is something I detest. Vulnerability is something that does not come natural to me. It is not the brand I want to build—the face I want to let people see. Trying to be strong all the time is getting tiring though. Unbearable really.
Dealing with this all by myself is a two-part problem working in tandem. My pride and how I am perceived. Telling someone about how my depression affects me is really difficult for me and often the people closest to me who perceive me as strong and persevering do not respond to me in a way that makes me feel safe in allowing myself to be vulnerable with them about my struggles with depression. It is often waved of with blank nods or statements such as, but not limited to:
“You are so strong though Leah”
“You always seem happy”
”There are so many great things going on in your life”
Yes, there are so many great things going on in my life. Another thing going on in my life is a chemical imbalance that causes me to go in downward spirals sometimes. With strength comes weakness. With happiness come pain. I am far from above that.
There is also only so many times I can try to tell people about how depression affects me and BE met with responses like that before I rationalize that it’s just better to keep it to myself and smile when I’m around the people I love.
This was a therapeutic writing experience for me, so I apologize if you came here looking for possible suggestions on how to cope. For those who have the same experiences, I hope you find comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Maybe this will push me to have a truly open and forthcoming conversation with someone I consider myself close to and give you an update. Until then remember to take care of yourselves and maintain your mental health as best you can.