My dear readers I have something to confess. This is something I’ve been dealing with for many, many years and It’s only been recently that I’ve decided to share it; rather than keep it bottled up within myself. I’m sure some of you are scratching your heads right about now, wondering what on earth I’m rambling on about it. Well I’ll cut to the chase. I suffer from depression.
For those of you who know me IRL, you probably are shocked by this revelation. Probably thinking “But she’s always so happy and cheerful, she can’t possibly be depressed!” I’ve just been really good at hiding it. Each day I’d wake up and wear a mask of happiness, to hide how I really felt. I’ve been struggling with my depression for many years, nearly half my life. Some days are easier than others. Some days I do wake up and feel on top of the world. But then there are days where my depression just gets me so down that I barely have the energy to do anything.
Depression isn’t just a mood. It’s different than just feeling sad. It affects how you think and feel. You don’t just “snap out” of it. It’s not as simple as that. It is emotional, mental and physical. It drains you to the point where everything feels like a struggle. Physically getting out of bed can be near impossible on bad days. Motivation, interest, desire all fly out the window. You feel like no one else would understand, which causes a lot of people with depression to isolate themselves and withdraw from things they normally enjoy.
I managed my depression fairly well for the most part, but in the last couple years it’s been rearing it’s ugly head more and more. It is hard to suppress the feeling of hopelessness. It’s hard to silence the negative thoughts in the back of my mind some days.There are days where my thinking gets so warped that I get upset or feel hurt about the silliest things. On my good days I look back and just wonder how I could of gotten so upset. But when my depression flares up, reason and logic don’t matter. My mind simply focuses on the negative. It can’t see the positive; it filters it out.
Unlike some people I’ve avoided speaking to a therapist about it. Simply because I didn’t want to be labelled as a crazy person who is dependant on drugs just to feel normal. I also didn’t want other people to know or think differently of me. I just wanted to be normal. So you may be wondering why am I coming out with this now? Well for those of you who don’t know, it’s Invisible Illness Awareness Week. This is my invisible illness. You can’t see it, but it’s there and I’ve been living with this illness for a long time.
Invisible illnesses encompasses many different types of illnesses. It’s not just mental like depression, bipolar, ODC etc… It also includes things such as chronic pain. For example people who suffer from arthritis, you can’t physically see it. You can’t look at a person and be like “Oh they’re in pain because they have arthritis.” It’s there, you just can’t see it. Some aren’t as severe, but living with an illness other people can’t see an’t be frustrating. Others are quick to judge since they can’t see it therefore it’s not that bad. I encourage everyone to try and be more understanding with those of us who do have an invisible illness.