I recently discovered this hashtag on Twitter: #depressionlies
Depression is a dark, ugly insidious creature that lives inside some of us. Well, maybe inside most of us at one point or another. But for some of us, depression has a permanent residence somewhere deep inside our psyche. We may need medication for it. We may need counseling. Sometimes, we may just need a scream-fest, an exercise-fest, a chocolate-fest, or in some cases, a good old-fashioned sex-fest. (Sorry if you border on the prudish and I offended you with that comment. However, I do only recommend this approach with your husband or wife.)
The hardest part about depression is the feeling of being completely alone. This is where the lie comes in: that voice inside our heads that tells us we're freaks, that “normal” people can deal with their problems, that we are the only ones who have these feelings and that it's best to not share any of our innermost turmoil with anyone else because they will immediately distance themselves from us because we are, I remind you, freaks.
The second hardest part about depression is encountering people who just don't understand it. The people who will tell us to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. The ones who say, “Look at the bright side” or “Count your blessings” or “Things could be worse.” These are the people we want to punch in the face because they are, pardon my French, complete morons.
Depression is a real, medical, chemical condition. It is not just “the blues” which we all encounter from time to time. It attacks us when we least expect it, and it will often abuse us as the delicate balances of life are often thrown off; things like sleep, blood sugar, medications, exercise, sunlight, and yes, sometimes, circumstances.
I am almost constantly aware of my blessings: An amazingly patient and understanding husband, pretty cool kids who also happen to brilliant, creative and funny, extraordinary friends who help me in physical, practical, emotional and spiritual ways. Those blessings are only the tip of the iceberg. However, I can be keenly aware of my blessings and still fall into depression when the chemicals in my brain get thrown off.
Sometimes, it only takes a few good nights' sleep to shake off a depressive episode. Sometimes it takes much longer.
One of my favorite songs ever is Demons by Imagine Dragons. If I could have played this song before my husband and I were married, I would have used it as a warning to him: “Don't get too close, it's dark inside.” But I'm blessed that he married me and has been an absolute rock in spite of the violent turbulence that sometimes shakes our life as a result of my depression.
If you suffer from depression, please remember #depression lies. And you are NOT alone.