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#DobaraPoocho – because asking again, might help make depression a little more bearable

My journey through depression Being asked Whats happening made it more bearable
Wednesday, December 07, 2016 - 14:45

Extrovert, bubbly, happy-go-lucky, talkative. Those are the adjectives that best describe my personality. Family and friends would agree to that, no questions asked. What went wrong? In my eyes, everything.

It started off as what I thought was just me being upset about the end of a very close relationship. After having a companion to everything I did, I was suddenly alone. I had moved back home to be with my family. We were a family of 5. There was always someone at home. But even in a room full of people I still felt alone. Nothing could cheer me up. I felt like anything I touched turned to dust. I would fall asleep at night wishing to never wake up. I used to hold my breath hoping that my heart would stop, but it didn’t. Then started the general irritability. I would get angry with people close to me for the silliest of things. I didn’t want to be around people, I didn’t want to communicate with anyone. I just wanted to sit in a dark room all day and do nothing. I would stare blankly at walls. Why couldn’t life just stop? Had I somehow reached a place in life where there was no way forward? Because I definitely couldn’t see it.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. I just wanted to sleep all the time, I loved the feeling of being numb. I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and start crying. Bawling. What had I done to deserve this? Why did I get abused as a child and teenager? Why didn’t I still believe it? Why did people come into my life just to leave? Was I not loved? What was I doing wrong? Maybe this was all my karma from a previous life. But I was done. Just done.

My mother stepped up, and asked me what was happening. She kept prodding me, gently, asking me what’s up. At that point, it came pretty close to driving me up the wall. Sometimes I would just tell her I am fine. I would pretend. But my mother persisted, and asked me again, “What’s happening?”

Nothing she could have done then was better than just asking me what was happening.

When talking to my family was not enough, she suggested I talk to a psychiatrist. Hell, why not? I’m going crazy anyway.

“How are you feeling right now?” he asked. Really? I was in the psychiatrist’s office. “Great!” He looked at me like he had heard that one a million times. “How are you really feeling?” Like an epiphany, the answer came to me. My brain had no sunshine. There was no light. I had died inside. He then explained to me what the problem was. Anxiety and depression. My heart raced. I was depressed? How? When? What? Why?

Slowly it started sinking in. Slowly it made sense to me. The doctor explained to me that it wasn’t uncommon in today’s day and age. It was more common than people liked to believe. The treatment was simple. He would give me some pills that I had to take in the morning and in the night. It would take a few weeks to kick in, but after that along with therapy once a week, I would feel a difference he assured me. I had never wanted to take pills. I didn’t want to have an illness that required medication, but here I was staring into a dark future. I agreed. Between him and my therapist I was comfortable enough to take this step.

The medication started. It made me sleepy. I would dream of green pastures filled with daises. I would see myself running towards the flowers. I would wake up and could almost smell the flowers. Was the light creeping back in?

 

It was. Slowly, through the cracks I could feel it seeping back in. I stopped feeling dead. I started caring. My life maybe had a purpose. I have always been a fighter. Was I going to let this take over my entire life? No. Every night before I fell asleep I would find a moment from my day where I felt calm and at ease. I would find that moment and keep it close to my heart. When I felt myself about to be sad again I would think of that moment. Slowly the darkness was defeated. I felt I had a purpose again.

It was hard work. There were days where I felt like there was no difference. There were days where I felt sorry for myself. There were days where I just yelled at myself for getting into this hell hole. There were days where I would watch a happy movie and make fun of people who like it, because in my world happiness did not exist and you were a fool if you believed it did. My therapist suggested I exercise. I hate exercise, but at this point I was desperate to try anything that would get me out of this so I exercised. It was exhausting. Even more exhausting than having to put up a happy front when I really wasn’t.

It made me tired, but it was helping. My heart felt lighter. The tears were gradually reducing. I was no longer waking up in the night to cry. I was no longer quick to snap back. I talked. I listened. I argued. But most importantly I accepted.

But there was one aspect of my journey without which I could not have found myself again - people around me asking me what was happening. If I was left to myself, I could not have got myself out of it.

And that’s why, if there is someone around you who is feeling low, sad or depressed, ask them what’s up. If you care for them, ask them again. Sometimes you need ask twice.

When depression hides behind a smile.

When you know ‘I’m fine, thank you’ isn’t true.

When silence seems like a loss of words.

#DobaraPoocho – because asking again, might help make depression a little more bearable.

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