The ailment we all succumb to: humanity.
We all succeed. We all fail. We all struggle.
Some do struggle more than others, but mostly I think we all just struggle in different ways. Its hard to know though, really. Each of us can only experience life from one processing unit… so how can we ever really compare one life and situation to another? I suppose we can compare, but not with any justice.
Comparison is an evil temptation, isn’t it?
I’m straying from my topic, aren’t I? What is my topic? Depression. For those of you who do not know me well yet, this is a topic I discuss frequently. It perplexes, infuriates, and saddens me. I want to understand it better.
I’ve known for most of my life that I have depression. However, for most of my life I never would have said, wrote, or even thought those words. To say them would be admitting weakness– or so I thought. Stigma is a stumbling block that blocks us all.
About now you might be wondering what exactly my point is. The truth is: I’m not sure I HAVE a point. Perhaps my point is that depression, and therefore its stigma, exists. Right about now I usually like to point out that people don’t believe it exists, or like to argue the validity of an illness they cannot see or quantify. Today I’d like to skip that rant, though I do feel it to be true. The point isn’t how other people experience my life (or the lives of those like me). The point is that my life does exist, and my struggles are real — regardless of their visibility.
Today I struggle.
I cannot tel you why. I cannot give you a “reason” for my depression. I cannot point to a doll and say “so-and-so hurt me here”. My brain simply does not process life in the way it was created to. I’ve tried to repair that unit of my brain, but I do not have the knowledge to repair years of misuse. I’ve spent so long thinking in those same damaged ways, that I do not understand what the doctors say “normal” look like. When they tell me, “this medicine will make you think normally” I cannot help but think, “what does that look like? How will I know when “normal” happens?”
I’m still not sure that I recognize “normal”, but I have learned to recognize “unhealthy”. Today my brain seems to be fighting off a virus. It doesn’t know how to repair or get rid of that virus, but it has finally learned to recognize those intruder thoughts for the corruption that they are.
I’ve learned that sometimes the best medicine is someone telling me, “you aren’t crazy”. I think that might be why I’ve decided to share this with you today. Sometimes you may become sick. The doctor, your family, and your friends may not know what is wrong or how to diagnose you. The repairman might try to help you repair the damage, but the damage might be irreparable. That does not make you broken. It doesn’t indicate you should be thrown away.. Not being able to see the pain, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
I see you.
I see your pain. I see your struggle. And I know you aren’t crazy. It’s okay to be in pain. It’s okay to not understand. It’s okay to be depressed, or anxious… no matter why you feel that way. You have a right to feel. Nobody else has to understand. It’s okay to wallow a little. Take your time.
When your virus has run its course it will leave a scar, but you will be capable of moving forward.
My daughter tells me that Daniel Tiger says, “When you’re sick, rest is best.” Let me tell you the same: rest. In time you will recuperate enough to go on with living. Tomorrow is a new day, and you are a capable person.