I have not posted since December and for good reason. I have been deciding whether or not this is even something I should be posting, you know, too much information that no one wants to hear. Then I remembered that nobody forces anybody to read stuff and you do not have to read it if you do not want to.
A month ago I became concerned about my mood and overall unwillingness to participate in what used to be really fun things for me. Those around me noticed really great mood swings and it was effecting my judgement a lot. My blood pressure was constantly low to the point where I felt like I was close to fainting. Being someone who admires perfection, including mental stability I sought out the doctor and we both came to the conclusion that I was depressed. I hated that. I also hate using the word hate. But I hated the fact that the very thing I was scared of becoming was in fact my reality. As much as we like to say that we are beyond the stigma that depression is for messed up, damaged people, a lot of us (myself included) deep down still believe that depression is all in the head and you create depression for yourself. Realizing that I have it makes it more of a nightmare because it does not go away over a good night’s sleep or by reading a good book. More so, the medical “cure” for it, makes you feel even worse for many weeks before it gets better. Not everyone understands your journey and people will forever remain convinced that you created it for yourself.
While much of this blog has been about my joys and funny interactions with people unfamiliar with adoption, only a few have really been about the struggles. I will honestly say that all throughout my life any little bouts of emotion have been managed. There was a darker period in High School but that too was resolved. The idea that I could become depressed definitely did not thrill me. At the time I had no concept on what depression did to a person, I only knew what it looked like. Depression sucks.
If you are not familiar, take a field trip into my brain. It is a gifted brain I will have you know, and that does not necessarily mean it is fired up with the latest invention ideas or mathematical formulas. My brain enjoys looking at the preciseness of a well cut-book, and the great colour choices of a newly built home. It cringes at poor grammar, both spoken and written and gets overly emotional over characters in sci-fi movies and can leave me emotionally numb for days. Giftedness, as told by Janneke Frank (http://calgaryherald.com/storyline/the-dark-side-of-being-a-gifted-kid) is, “a tragic gift, and not a precursor to success”. So now that you know that I will let you know what it feels like to have depression invade its already complex state of existence. I did not realize that you could literally feel a mood coming. It kind of feels like a daydream, you are really content and satisfied with your life and then for about thirty minutes you physically watch yourself become irritated, pissed off and cold. There is nothing you could do about it. They became more frequent. Eventually they make you sleep a lot. Not sleep as in turn on NetFlix and watch your favourite series and doze but sleep for hours and not even feel hungry or like you need to go to the bathroom. It was easy for me to slip into this too, it is not like anybody comes and forces you out of it as if you were a kid. You deal with this on your own. My depression is more than being tired. It is knowing that you are affecting people, people who both understand and maybe criticize you, people who do not know you or know too much. The worst is you cannot control it and it pushes people away when you so desperately need them closer than before. It is not everyone’s cup of tea, I do not think it is anybody’s cup of tea. Lack of control when you’re physically injured sucks. But you can control how much pain you put yourself through by how much you choose to rest or how much you move your injured ligament. You cannot turn off your thoughts. People cannot see a bandaged brain.
I used to think people who were depressed were just mentally unstable lunatics. Then I became depressed and realized that we just process our problems in the most excessive ways possible, and for myself and my overly active brain, it is now working on over-time. I won’t tell you that you need to feel sorry for people who suffer from mental illness because I sure I did not. But I guess I am living proof that it happens to even the most deniable of it.