I live with chronic depression and generalized anxiety. I’m usually high functioning enough that people wouldn’t know unless I told them. I’m pretty open about it most of the time though. I am not ashamed. If you follow me here, this definitely doesn’t come as a surprise. (LOL)
Due to changes in my medication needed to fight cancer recurrence, I have recently had to go off the main medication I took for depression for the last 18 or so years. I’m on other medications, but they aren’t enough to keep me in a state that feels like living instead of existing. I’ve been struggling since the dosage first changed in October or November, but that increased quite a bit a couple of weeks ago when I went off of it completely. I’ve been struggling to get out of bed. Struggling to make it to work. Struggling to stay at work. Struggling to find interest in things. I lack motivation. I lack energy. I feel dread and fear with no real target. What am I afraid of? I don’t even know. I just know something bad is going to happen. I do know this is not realistic. But, depression lies. And when it lies, it tells me that I have a moral failing for being this way. It tells me that I need to get it together, that I’m just stupid and lazy. It tells me that I should be ashamed of the way I am. Ashamed of who I am.
I just started a new medication yesterday that I’m hopeful will help. I see a therapist weekly. I have been able to force myself out of bed and into work. So, I’m doing fairly well to be honest. I am trying to live instead of exist, and taking the steps I need to take to do that. But it’s really difficult sometimes, and I’m honestly pretty exhausted.
I share this with you to say: If you need help, I hope that you will let someone know. If you see someone struggling, I hope that you will ask how you can help. If you are existing instead of living, I hope that you will seek the assistance that is readily available, and don’t turn away at the first sign of an obstacle. Help is out there. Help is not always easy to get. Keep trying.
I appreciate Wil Wheaton’s willingness to share his story because he’s right, his life should be pretty amazing based on objective facts, and the fact that it hasn’t been amazing for most of his years is due to a chemical imbalance, not just shitty circumstances. If you are struggling, there is a good chance your brain is trying to tell you that you just need more love, more money, more friends, a nicer car, a better job, or whatever else to be happy. I’m trying to tell you that if it’s chemical, none of those things are going to help you feel better. Medication isn’t the only answer, but for me, it’s a life saver. Literally.