i want to talk about something hard. because not talking about it is even harder. i don't have an easy way to say it, no eloquent lead-in or even a comical ice breaker. so i will just begin.
i am depressed. i have anxiety, too; generalized and social.
now quickly, before speaking what's on my heart about this, let me get this out of the way: i am ok. i'm not looking for sympathy or other reactions; please don't worry. this is not a cry for help. this is me continuing my life-long struggle of trying to be at peace with these facts about me, to stop feeling ashamed and alone because of it. i so dearly hope that my words may reach even one pair of eyes who identifies with my struggle. it would mean so much if i could reach someone like me, who goes to war with themself daily with who they are in their heart, and who their mind tells them they are.
who feels as if they are estranged from everyone they love.
who may feel they live a lie, and have no 'real' friendships because of it. because they are too afraid and ashamed to admit to anyone what they think and feel.
to someone who may feel as if their entire life could be on a different course, had they only known, sought help, or been reached out to sooner.
i know what all of these relentless, daily thoughts can do to a person.
i know what it is to want to do something with every fiber of your being, and yet still remain paralyzed, numb and afraid.
i worry a lot that i represent myself in a fashion that is detrimental to those who are like me. i know what it is to torment yourself during your lows (what is a day without at least one of those?) with thoughts of how the happy, successful people on your timelines have never been like you; proving to yourself that your own happiness and success, then, is certainly impossible. if i am speaking to you, i want you to know that it is possible to be both. it is possible to love yourself, your career, your friends, and still feel so dead inside, you spend most days paralyzed in fear and self-contempt.
i am also here to tell you, it is possible to enjoy your life and achieve your successes while feeling dead inside.
i'm not sure what else to say about this. i'm not an expert. i'm too ashamed, and skeptical, to have ever sought professional help, so i don't even have advice i feel comfortable to pass along. i am just here to say, to anyone who may need to hear it:
you are not broken.
you are not wrong.
you are not different.
you are not alone. you are not alone, you are not alone, you are not alone.
you are not doomed.
you are not worthless.
you are not lazy.
the disease may lure you into doing stupid things, but you are not stupid.
the disease may lead you to lash out and be nasty, because you feel nasty. but you are not.
it's ok to be scared.
it's ok to be lonely.
it's ok to be ashamed.
it's ok to be sad, so sad you don't even know why any of us are here.
it's ok to have days you can't overcome the voices in your head.
it's ok to have days you shine so bright you worry others think you must be being overdramatic about your experiences of your mental health.
it's ok to struggle.
it's ok to want to curl up in a ball and evaporate.
it doesn't feel ok.
but you are ok for feeling it. one day will come where you wake up, and it feels like the clouds have parted. you know the feeling. the day you are amazed you don't feel... nothing. you feel... present. those days will come, and they will remind you who you really are, under the nasty voices of your disease.
in the meantime, please friend, please keep going. keep holding out for one of those days. do what you need to do to get by. just keep going.
you are more than a disease. you are so strong for fighting those wars every day. look how far you've come, i am so proud of you. just one more day, dear friend. one day closer to a clear head.
and please, if you need a reminder you are not the only one, reach out to me. i will listen. and i will understand. i am in the trenches with you, and i am on your side.