A few weeks ago, I met up with a friend who is close to someone with depression, too. In a somewhat bashful tone, she said, “I wish she was more like you.” What she meant by that was, she wished her friend was a high-functioning depressive like me.
I wasn’t always a high-functioning depressive.
Just two years ago, my days consisted of lying in bed and staring at the ceiling, having nothing but coffee for meals, and wondering when I’ll finally meet my end.
Thanks to cognitive behavioral therapy and meds, I’ve regained a lot of my energy: to work, to build and maintain relationships, to eat and exercise, to write. Since then, the good days have more often than not outweighed the bad ones.
I wrote this because I feel that in the conversation on mental health, we should also be including the support system—friends and family of those who have been diagnosed, or who are undergoing mental health problems.
The conversation is focused on the sufferers of mental illness, which is good because it lessens the stigma and encourages us to get the help we need. However, it’s important to also acknowledge the role that friends and family play in this situation.
Last January, I made a life-changing decision: I signed up for a membership at Gold’s Gym, and sessions with a personal trainer.
The first few sessions were exhausting, to say the least. Every muscle in my body ached, and I was walking so stiffly that even getting out of a car sent waves of pain screaming down my legs.
Still, I persevered. As of writing, I’ve lost 4 pounds. Slow progress, but progress nonetheless. With every session, I feel myself getting stronger, able to do the exercises without getting too out of breath.
You’re worthless. You don’t matter. Your existence means nothing: you may have been something special before, but not now, and never again.
This isn’t me talking.
That’s Depression, talking in His sweetly sinister voice.
That voice has the ability to permeate the nooks and crannies of my mind. It is a noxious gas tainting my memories, even the good ones. I’ve been living with it for so long—more often than not, in eighteen years—that it’s difficult for me to ignore it.
I mentioned in a previous blog post that I was back on meds because I was backsliding into a depressive state. Last weekend, I had one of my worst suicidal episodes yet. I wanted to kill myself.
It was 3am on Saturday. I was laying in bed, chilling with Youtube videos, when without warning, I felt terrible. No trigger whatsoever—I just suddenly felt that everything was pointless. That I’m a worthless loser who will never amount to anything, who will always be a burden to my loved ones.
I started sobbing, tears and snot running down my face. As soon as I wiped them away, they started anew. It went on like that until 6am.