An Honest Post

Almost two months ago I wrote this post. Since then, there are several things I should have admitted to myself but didn’t. In a naïve attempt to ignore my problems and push through, I failed to address the following truths:

I am depressed. I am suicidal. I am getting help.

I am going to be okay.

Looking back, I think I know why I reacted the way I did. I didn’t want to admit to myself that I was depressed. I consciously told myself that as long as the worst of me stayed in the darkness of sleepless nights where daylight could not illuminate its ugly face, then it wasn’t really depression. That as long as deathly thoughts lurked only in my subconscious, as long as they only colored my dreams in their dreary shades, then I was not truly suicidal. As long as I continued to write that I am unbreakable, I could make it true. I guess we’ll tell ourselves whatever we think we need to in order to keep going.

I finally recognized my depression for what it was last night. So this morning I made a doctor’s appointment. I don’t know if that was the bravest thing I’ve ever done, or the weakest. I also don’t really think that it matters, or that I care; only that it is done.

Honestly, it is possible that I could have continued indefinitely without additional help. I, like many others, have found ways to deal with my depression without truly admitting there was a problem. I fill my days with activities and work so that there is no time for idle thoughts. When I write, I focus on what makes me great, filling pages with words that are stronger than what I truly feel. I realize now that I’ve been trying to convince myself more than anyone who may or may not read my posts.

However, while it is possible that I could have continued forever without the assistance of doctors or medication, I am also aware that it only takes one misstep, one moment of weakness, to destroy everything. Maybe one night I won’t be strong enough to keep these things in my dreams and out of reality. I do not want to find out how I would react in that scenario, so I’m not going to give myself a chance to find out. Even in an imagination as vast as mine, there are some corners at which I do not want to peer.

So this morning I woke up, looked in the mirror, and forced myself to say the following out loud:

“I am depressed. I am suicidal. I am getting help.

I am going to be okay.”

Maybe I should feel ashamed for requiring chemical assistance in this circumstance. After all, I am not one who often relies on such things. I have never felt that alcohol was necessary for a good time. Pain is always manageable, with or without aspirin. I would rather go on three hours of sleep than risk a dependency on sleep aides. However, despite everything, I am not ashamed of having made that call. I am not ashamed of this appointment or even of this post. I don’t think I’m even embarrassed about it, though part of me says I should be.  In this moment, I feel that I have grown past the point of needing to prove anything to anyone, even myself. Maybe that’s a good sign, too.

There is another thing that I have finally recognized. In my previous post, I admitted my naivety. I admitted that in college I convinced myself that if I worked hard, if I held the two jobs and slept in my car—then somehow the world would watch out for me and that things would work out. Now, as I realize that the core of my depression is based on knowing that I will not be able to teach next year—that my debts and subsequent lack of transcripts will keep me from the one career that truly makes me happy—I realize that it was wrong of me to assume such things. No wonder people call my generation “entitled.” The world owes me nothing, and I would have done better to recognize it ahead of time. Now that I have acknowledged that, maybe I can move on without clinging to these fancies. That, too, is a step in the right direction.

To anyone else who is battling depression, I wish that I had some magical way to help you. I wish I could make this easier. But you and I both know that logic and reasoning has no place here. This is not a battle that can be won through usual means. Even the kindest and best-meaning words from friends and family are only lukewarm platitudes. It is not their fault—they are doing what they can, no matter that it cannot do much. They will pray for you, as will I, and though that offers little comfort, perhaps something somewhere will give you the strength to say:

“I am depressed. I am suicidal. I am getting help.

I am going to be okay.

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7 thoughts on “An Honest Post

  1. There is such bravery in admitting that you need help. There should be no shame in that.
    I know you are an incredibly strong woman, but nobody is unbreakable. I am happy that you
    have recognized that you need help and have arranged for it. You will be alright. Love you, Brave
    Lady!

    Like

  2. Pingback: The Moment of Truth | Mortal Asphalt

  3. When we first talked on OM’s blog, you seemed like a happy, independent person- and then I read this post and I felt sympathy, yes, but more than that…

    I felt gratitude. I look at the society around me and I feel like issues like these can just be trivialized or ignored, but they are always there and always important, and it’s always reassuring to see that the message that you sent out is getting to other people.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you. Take care,
    -Daniel/Oddity Writer

    Like

  4. Pingback: The Cost of Advocating for Mental Health | Mortal Asphalt

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