Typically, I don’t write such personal entries about my daily life. However, I thought this post might be helpful to those who are either currently suffering from a depression episode, or those like myself who are in remission.
If you would like to read my very first blog entry which is titled, “My Story” I will link it below. In this post I go into detail about my battle with depression and anxiety and where it all started. But as a basic background…I have been in “full remission” from Major Depressive Disorder for about 3 months now. Meaning, I’ve gone 12 months+ with little symptoms. However, this was with taking my daily medication, talk therapy once every 3 weeks, and lots of self management techniques such as good sleep, exercise, eating right, meditation/deep breathing, yoga, etc. etc. What I’m trying to say is, my depression didn’t just “go away.” My case is considered chronic, however it has been very well managed for quite some time now.
Now that we got that over with, 3 days ago I had a very. bad. day. It hit me like a ton a bricks. I woke up with a weight on my chest that was undeniably none other than: depression. What I considered to be the devil inside me that had felt dormant for almost a year, was back. Now if you’ve never experienced Depression first hand, you may have no idea what I am talking about, but if you have, you know it all too well. Depression feels like a heavy weight on my heart. I can physically feel the hurt and pain, for what appears to be no reason. It’s just there. Not like chest pain or heartburn or anxiety. No. It’s that constant heavy, sinking feeling that you get when you find out your childhood dog passed away or your best friend has cancer. Only it’s constant, and bears a weight on you throughout the entire day, making every simple task a challenge.
I tried to brush it off, thinking after I had my morning coffee (coffee fixes most things right?), showered and got on my way to class, the feeling would fade. Sure, I’d had brief moments like this over the past year, but they were short-lived and typically at nighttime when everything seems worse than it is. As I was driving to school it got worse, the emptiness within me set in, and I felt absolutely lifeless. A friend of mine who also suffers from Depression once said it perfectly. On days when my Depression really kicks in, my only thought is, “what’s the use?” This was a feeling I had not had in so long, and the painful memories it brought back from my days of being so depressed/suicidal I had to be hospitalized for weeks (almost 2 years ago). I could barely bring myself to keep driving to class. The worst part was actually getting to campus, because I knew for about 4 hours, I had to act like I was okay. Which unfortunately I’m almost too good at…sometimes I even fool myself until I’m alone again. Being around people when you’re depressed, just getting through a normal, average day of work or school is one word: DRAINING. It completely sucks the life out of you.
That night (Friday) was my boyfriend’s first basketball home game of the season, and I wanted more than anything to be there and support him. I told myself I could do it…surely any minute now I would snap out of it right? Silly of me to think that because anyone who has fought Depression knows there is no such thing as “snapping out of it.” To make matters worse, all my friends that night were either working or out of town, so I had no one to go to the game with. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal to me. I mean yeah, I also have anxiety, so showing up somewhere alone is never exactly my cup of tea, but whatever, I can handle it. Well not today. That constant feeling that tears will stream down your cheeks any minute, the constant weight on your chest, the constant exhaustion of acting “fine”… it was all just too much, and I knew for a fact I could not handle it, at least I couldn’t hold myself together long enough to handle it.
I went over to my boyfriends apartment a couple hours before the game. I mentioned that morning to him over text that I “felt sad today.” He knows I struggle with Anxiety and Depression, but that my depression hasn’t been much of an issue in my life since we started dating back in Spring. He had never seen me in my “depressed state,” and let me tell you, my “depressed state” is a COMPLETELY different person. Normally I’m happy, upbeat, and in a good mood. Today was different. We walked into his room and he said “So how are you doing?” “I’m good,” I answered as the words tasted like poison I was trying to choke down; I was lying to him. Which is typical of me and a major flaw I need to work on. I never want to worry people I really care about, especially him the night before his first game. A few minutes later, I couldn’t handle it anymore. He’s my boyfriend after all, and it’s not that I was afraid he wouldn’t understand, it’s just hard for me to open up when I’m feeling like this. I just simply don’t want to talk. After moments of silence I said, “I lied. I’m really not okay, and I haven’t been all day.” Then came at least an hour of tears. I for the life of me could not stop crying…and for absolutely no reason, no reason other than Depression. The illness, and my demon inside me, and this is what it does to you. He asked me how he could help and all I said was, “just be here.” He then told me don’t worry about coming to the game, told me I could just hangout in his room. He gave me some of his comfy clothes, and told me to just watch movies, eat all his food, and nap until he got back. I started crying again, but this time they were tears of relief. He understood.
The feeling continued into the next day, and unfortunately I had to work all weekend. I am a Patient Care Tech (PCT) at a hospital and it was my first day on my own, not in training. I would have been nervous regardless, but the depressed feeling that consumed me made it all the worse. I forced myself to go because in treatment they taught me, “Get up. Dress up. Show up. No matter what.” Well something magical happened half way through my shift and I slowly started to feel okay again. It was like someone inside my brain flipped the “Depression switch” off. After a good night’s sleep, I woke up the next morning feeling almost normal, with minimal symptoms. And today (Monday) I woke up my real self again, in a great mood and happy as can be. Of course anxious and stressed as always but let’s be real…that’s a given. 😉
I really wanted to share this story with you guys to let you know it’s okay to have a bad day. It’s okay to have a day where you just let yourself cry for hours and lay in bed watching movies. But after that, you must keep going. Wherever it is you need to be, just go. Just do it. No matter how hard it is. I honestly think going to work and class and keeping my routine helped. Even though being around people is the last thing you want to do (believe me I get it…I’m also an introvert) it really does help, and get your mind off things. Keep fighting the good fight. Bad days will happen, temporary ruts will happen, remission will happen. The most important thing is to not give up and keep moving forward. It’s hard as hell, but YOU CAN do it. I believe in each and every one of you.
When you have Depression you fight. You fight like hell because really…what choice do you have?
xoxo, Jaclyn ♡
♡ Check out my full story here ♡
♡ Check out this blog’s tips for what to do when you’re having a bad day ♡