I’ve not typically written here about my depression. This may, perhaps, be an effort on the part of my guarded subconscious to keep my depression a secret, as I often feel compelled to do. It is not on purpose that I keep this aspect of my life out of my blog, but I haven’t made a strong effort to include it either.
Yesterday, however, I was truly struck by it, and must congratulate myself on identifying what was going on. I figure if it’s been so difficult for me to understand the workings of my own mind, I can’t be alone, and maybe some of my readers will benefit from a share.
On Tuesday night, I was leaving my second job (working in an eating disorder recovery program), and had a recurring thought: “I fucking love my job.” The day had been hard. A client was sent out to the hospital. And eating dinner with a group of recovering anorexics, bulimics, and binge eaters, I assure you, is no breeze. But I was truly so excited to be there, and recognized how lucky I was to have found what I believe to be my true calling at the ripe age of 24. I couldn’t wait to return two days later.
Thursday finally arrives. But I come into work, and I just feel… different. Can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a vague sadness, finding it hard to notice color in things. But it’s more than sadness. I hear a negative voice that has had its volume maximized. The self-loathing overtakes me, and I doubt everything I have to offer the world. It hurts to smile. I can’t seem to find the brave face I feel my clients need to see plastered on me for their recovery process to be adequate.
I begin to panic: here I go again, getting bored before something even has the chance to begin. I start to hate myself for, once again, jumping to the conclusion that I love something before I have the chance to see its dark side, believing that I have no choice but to hate this career choice forever. I catastrophize my life.
Then I remember: I am depressed. Sometimes the darkness creeps in, and it often has very little to do with where you are, who you’re with, and what you love. It can overtake you at inopportune moments, and when you least expect it.
I don’t justify my feelings as a cop out. It’s true I may be depressed, but I won’t be victim to it. I refuse. I will do everything in my power to prove that I can beat this, as I have decided that it will not run my life. BUT, I believe that recognizing these moments–being able to know what that sadness feels like inside, and recognizing why it’s happening–is the first step to finding your cure.
This is not your fault. You are not bad. You are not lazy. You are not stupid. But you are not a victim. And you are not alone.