I’ve written a lot about anxiety lately, specifically my own. What I haven’t touched is the lovely co-pilot of anxiety that is depression.
My first bout with depression (as it was labeled by others) that I remember was when I was pre-teen. As I grew up I chalked it up to puberty and hormones. I don’t remember many details. I remembered I was triggered by being bullied, I remember leaning against our fridge in the dark kitchen one evening telling my mother how I felt. I remember being brought to counseling. I remember some time after that counseling and feeling fine I opted to attempt suicide multiple times, one said attempt even brought me to the hospital. I remember experimenting with cutting and lying about it being from my best friend’s cat. I remember feeling like everything everyone told me made me more angry. I couldn’t do the things they were telling me to do, ways to improve my life.
And today I’m battling those same thoughts. Every task feels like a thousand pounds in weights strapped on my shoulders. I have crippled over into the fetal position crying for no reason. I’m irritable, over sleeping. I am burnt out.
I’m not ashamed. I don’t fear stigma. What I fear is I’m not alone, and I know I’m not alone, especially this year. I know there are many others out there right now, experiencing the same struggles. Because there are so many others, it doesn’t mean my story or anyone’s story doesn’t matter. We are a society of mentally struggling individuals with unique stories that all require attention.
I blame COVID-19. I blame 2020. A year that started off with a bang, being proposed to and saying yes! But since then, I have suffered through too much loss. Losses that have tilted me into a crippled version of myself.
Let’s list the losses:
My birthday was during lock down
A job that was home to me for the past 4.5 years, a place where I found stability, family and my love
Social interaction and connection
One of our dogs
Regular wedding planning experiences
The idea of our dream wedding
Freedom to see and hug family
My health and my body
A sense of normalcy
My job’s routine
Going out on dates
We cope. We learn. We grow. We do what we can to make life joyful, but what do we do when we’re too tired to make the best of it?