So…where to begin?
I suppose, as the saying goes, I’ll begin at the beginning.
Aside from being a journalist, writer, and photographer and fledgling vlogger, I am one of the millions of people who struggle with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and like a lot of those people, I’ve tried to hide it, suppress it, deflect and dodge it, and worst of all, make every excuse possible to not deal with it.
That act, probably more than anything has cost me some of the best pieces of both my life and myself. As terrible as that feels, it pales in comparison to having that persistent voice in my head telling me the same thing.
That I deserve it because this illness, and that’s what it is, can convince me in sometimes seductive or very forceful ways.
Perhaps the one thing those who question the severity of depression or the impact it has on the mind fail to understand is that the reason why we struggle with it is because the illness is often the reason why we make those excuses.
Even when you’re in the process of therapy or recovery, the mind rebels. It resists and fights back because the idea of changing it antithetical.
Over the last thirty years, I’ve bottomed out emotionally many times, each one a little worst than the last. Every time, I’ve made promises to those who meant the most to me that I would deal with it.
As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve broken them and every time leads to a need to overcompensate in order to prove that I won’t break them again.
Fixing depression cannot be done by the person who suffers from it alone. Along with a support system of friends and loved ones, there has to be someone else.
It took a few years longer than I hoped it would, but in a few weeks, I’ll be starting with a therapist and hopefully things will start getting definitively better. It’ll take time and a lot of work, but the alternative is continuing to not get better.