On Depression

I usually only like to tell you the funny personal details of my life.  Because the world and the internet are dark and gloomy enough as it is.  But, sometimes, you just want to put all your feelings out there into the void and hope that someone is listening and that what you have to say on a topic is helpful to someone somewhere.

So, here we go. Things are about to get very real.

I have depression. Not the suicidal kind, just the get-blue-and-not-want-to-do-anything-but-sit-on-my-couch-in-the-fetal-position-wrapped-up-in-a-blanket kind.  I hate having depression. I’m not telling you this because I want sympathy, or I feel like I have a soapbox, I’m just telling you what my life has been like recently.

I kind of disappeared from a lot of the things I love because I just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING.  I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to watch tv. I don’t want to sleep, but I do want to sleep all of the times.  I don’t want to read. Or bake. Or play the piano. Or get dressed.  EVERYTHING SEEMS OVERWHELMING.

Even things like microwaving taquitos.

Sometimes, it feels like I am a fly stuck in one of those nasty tape fly traps. Where I’m sitting there and everyone else is having a good time and I’m just stuck there, watching.  Sometimes I cry for no reason. I cry when I have any sort of emotion. I cry when I see touching commercials. I cry when I hear good news. I cry when I hear bad news. I cry in the shower. I cry in my car. I cry at work.  *Which, for the record, is super embarrassing.

A few days ago at work my boss asked me a question and it was all I could do to not burst into tears.  I’m grumpy and little dumb things make me grumpier.

And the worst part is that most people don’t get it.  When I was in my first year of college, I had some very noticeable symptoms of depression.  My roommates told me (they had good intentions, I think. Based on other things that happened that year, I might be mistaken about those intentions) that if I just served more, or read my scriptures more, or prayed more, or was more spiritual, I would be happy.

While those things definitely do bring joy and peace, when you have depression, that isn’t the cure. It’s been said time and time again–you wouldn’t tell someone with appendicitis that if they just prayed more they would get better. Or that if they weren’t so worried about themselves they wouldn’t have appendicitis anymore. THIS IS NOT A REAL MEDICAL CURE.

That’s the hardest part for me: Depression sometimes goes away and sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it is actually a chronic illness.  I want to be happy; I don’t want to be sad. But, I have a condition that, while it is treatable, causes me to be sad some of the time.  In fact, lately, it seems like a lot of the time.

The thing about depression is that it doesn’t look the same for any two people.  When I first started telling people I had depression, they didn’t believe me. They told me I was too happy for that.  Truth be told, sometimes I just know how to glue a smile on.  Like everyone, I laugh because things are funny. But sometimes those funny things aren’t funny enough to fight away the demons battling in my head.  (The demons are actually in my head, you know? It’s not like –oh, you’re crazy, it’s in your head; but there is an actual chemical imbalance causing me to have demons in my head. Note: Not actual demons. I do not need an exorcist; I repeat. I do not need an exorcist!)

But, sometimes I am actually happy.  And sometimes I am giggling one moment and sobbing uncontrollably the next.

It’s awesome.

But not really.
The thing is this: It’s hard and scary and sometimes I am probably dehydrated because of all the tears coming out of my face, but everything is going to be okay.  That’s how life works, I hear. Sometimes crappy stuff happens and then it all works out eventually. So, don’t worry about me.  Because it’s going to be fine. But, I just wanted to give you an update.


2 thoughts on “On Depression

  1. Liz,

    What a beautiful post. I appreciate your sincerity. Depression is real and it sucks. I have no advice. I just want you to know you are loved.



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