Let’s address the obvious.
I haven’t updated this blog since May despite enjoying the freedom of expression and lack of restriction talking about a stigmatized disease.
While I regret not posting more, I admit it wasn’t until this past September that the reasons for not posting had nothing to do with being “busy.”
Over the summer I had the great opportunity to report for the Chautauquan Daily and spend a summer with some of the most genuine and talented people I’ve ever met. And while I enjoyed my time, in hindsight throughout that period I battled mild depression and lack of motivation.
Then came school: Early September.
Two weeks into my senior year the stress of seemingly losing my career path, social relationships and my own disregard for myself led to a downward spiral that threatened my ability to graduate.
Missed classes, missed meetings, missed events, missed friendships, missed time; all stemming from a chemical imbalance in my brain that would not cease.
I would lay in bed, unable to get up, eat, sleep, anything really.
Depression came back and hit me like a bus. Despite all the work, all the coping mechanisms, all the insight, all the talks, all the techniques — it came back.
Depression is kind of like a horror movie villain, it never actually dies no matter what you do and is always waiting for the sequel.
And this time — it got the best of me.
It didn’t care about my responsibilities or opportunities, it just swooped in and knocked me back.
For those of us afflicted; we’ve been here before.
Sadly, it comes with the territory.
But eventually, you persevere.
When you persevere, you do something great.
Despite feeling held back, once you’re back on the horse, you thrive.
But as someone in a support group once told me;
“I do good for a month or two and then all of the sudden things fall apart.”
It’s one of the most simple, but clear, explanations of depression and mental health as a whole.
I want to be the person with answers, but in truth, I’m just as lost as anyone else, maybe more-so.
I’ve accepted that depression is and will always be apart of my life.
But I’ll be damned if I let it beat me.
See, I used to be the person that threw out cliches’ like “it gets better,” and “this will pass” and to a point, it does, but it must be managed.
If this piece seems conflicted, well that’s because depression is conflicting.
I look back at my “tips for seasonal depression,” and it sickens me. It gives off this perception that it isn’t okay to give in, but you know what, shit happens.
Sure, it would be better if it didn’t happen, but it’s difficult, especially when you’re in it.
It’s okay to lose the battle. I lost the battle. I lost the time. Many have.
Don’t be ashamed.
As long as you get up one day, you’ll continue winning the war.
In the end, that’s what matters.
Don’t beat yourself up. Continuing to stew on the “what if’s” will only impede progress.
If you get up — you’re fighting, you’re scrapping, you’re winning.