It is a hard thing to write:
I am depressed.
I am feeling depressed.
I am going through depression.
No matter how I type it the words seem to float as a far away dream, surreal that the state of being that I have been going through has such a simple name. I’ve always dissociated depression as being something other people go through while trying to rationalize my emotions as being caused by my health. While it is true that my health caused my depression, it is also true that my mental health is just as important and in many ways more important than my physical health. I have been neglecting my emotional health for a very long time because I had always assumed that being sad or wishing I would disappear, die or never have existed in the first place was a logical side effect of the chronic pain and inflammation in my body. Even though I know that mental health in and of itself can heal or worsen disease, I didn’t want to admit that I wasn’t strong enough to just push through it and magically be ok. I didn’t want to feel weak.
Admitting how sad I feel would make how useless I feel real. Other people would know what I think about myself and maybe they would start thinking that about me too.
That I am useless.
A bump on the log ruining everyone’s time.
A waste of space.
Admitting it would mean saying that things are as bad as they are in my head. Admitting it means admitting that I am not ok. Admitting that chronic disease is frigging hard. Admitting that just because I know there is inflammation every where, or that my hormones are wonky, doesn’t make feeling like this is ok.
I started seeing a psychiatrist for cognitive behavioral therapy recently, and I have been given a diagnosis that I never actually wanted to think I would ever have. It is honestly the only diagnosis that hasn’t given me a sense of relief and direction. With my physical health, I am going through it, I know it is not normal. I know I can make it better over time once I know exactly what is causing it… but chronic depression?
My health caused it, but I can’t fix it by making my health better. I have to fix it to make my health better. I have had no interest in the things I love for the last 8 months. I was able to fake it for a while, but now I can’t even bring myself to do that. I have had times were things were bad and everything was dull in the past, but this has been worse. I know that my joints and gut have been inflamed. I’ve had the blood tests. I know that inflammation in one part of your body means inflammation everywhere, including the brain. I knew that before the psychiatrist told me that inflammation in and of itself would cause depression. Knowing that doesn’t help, it doesn’t make it better, it doesn’t even give me a direction as to how to make it better.
I am thankful that my husband and one of my close friends helped me to realize that I cannot keep leaving my mental health on the back burner while I try to fix my body. I’ve become so tired of everything that I am losing the will to keep trying. It feels utterly pointless. Maybe as I start CBT I will be able to have an idea of how to pass over seemingly insurmountable mountain of my mental health.
This post has been hard to write, unbelievably so. I honestly don’t feel stigmatized by anything that is going on in my body more than my mental health. Some say the hardest part is getting out of denial… I guess I will have to see from here…