It’s been 12 months since my diagnosis. 12 months of living with an illness that’s invisible. 12 months of fighting demons inside my own head.
Around eight weeks after my diagnosis I felt my medication kick in and the clouds lifted and I felt joy again. I could laugh and smile and actually mean it. I could return to work and really enjoy being around people. As the days and weeks passed I began to feel myself again and even though there were times of low mood I could see that it would pass eventually.
But a few weeks ago the darkness began to return. For a few days at a time, but then for a week at a time and now it seems to be back full time.
I can’t quite believe I’m back here again. The feeling of helplessness, the sadness, the tears, it’s all back. And with them, the guilt.
The guilt of wanting to be alone, of wanting to stay in bed and being disconnected from my family. You see that’s what my depression does, it makes me want to sign out of the world. Not hurt myself but just not be anywhere.
And maybe it’ll pass soon or maybe it won’t. Maybe I’ll have to increase my meds and then the chemical imbalance will be corrected. But maybe this is it. Maybe for the rest of my life I will fight this demon. I think this is what scares me the most. Because the good days are great but the bad days are so shitty that to imagine facing them for years to come just feels so overwhelming.
What makes it harder is trying to function and carry on with life at the same time. It is so exhausting trying to be ‘normal.’ Trying to make sure people don’t see what’s really going on.
Because it’s not like a broken limb, people, mostly just don’t get it. Even if they are trying to get it, they still don’t. They don’t know why it keeps coming back, they don’t know why you can’t just get on with things or why the tears just keep coming even when you don’t want them to.
It’s not their fault and I get why it must be so frustrating for others, but living with depression is so much harder. And the thought it might never fully go away is the scariest thing in the world.