I am weary of fighting it.
I am very tired of fighting the depression. The diagnosis came in the early 2000's, at the insistence of my friends that I needed some help. They were right. But, looking back, I know that it's been a part of me since at least 1994.
I fought against the diagnosis for a long time in my mind. It's not that I had any shame regarding it. But I didn't understand how I could be sometimes happy but depressed at the same time. I thought you had to be sad all the time, I thought you had to be contemplating suicide. I didn't realize that I could have moments of laughter and love, and yet still have the depression looming inside me all the while.
Initially, I sought counselling and medication, both of which were extremely helpful in getting myself back on my emotional feet. The counselling helped me to see that taking care of myself was important, both to myself and to my family. It helped me to find how to best do that, and it helped me to get out of the modern woman expectation of having to be the one to do EVERYTHING for everyone first. The medication helped me to get on top of the depression. It helped me control behaviors that I didn't even realize were nervous habits. It helped me to get AHEAD of it so I can keep it at bay.
But, at bay is all it is... and I guess, all it ever will be.
I participate in neither counselling or medication now. While the medication was good for when I needed it, the truth is I didn't really like being on it. It dulled my nervous habits and the emotions that kept me weighed down, absolutely yes. But it also dulled my happier emotions, too. I didn't like that. I started counselling again when we moved to Washington, but the one I saw thought I was doing just fine, and so I stopped going. I'm okay with that. I have good friends.
I am firmly committed to the concept of self-care. I know the things that help. I know which aspects of myself I need to care for first in order to stay ahead of the depression, and they are just as important to me as showering and brushing my teeth. I do NOT like to be in the pit when depression looms. It is cloying and suffocating, and I hate it.
Sometimes I wish it would just go away, that I wouldn't have to constantly fight it anymore. But, it's like this ever-present fog on the outside of my existence.
Have you ever held your breath for too long, and your vision gets dark and fuzzy on the outside? At least until the oxygen gets back to where it needs to go, everywhere you turn, there's this ring of dark hovering on the outside of what you see. It's like that.
I am stubborn, and I WILL NOT let this beat me. But, all the time, I'm pushing that darkness back. Push, push, push. I won't succumb to it, understand. I just won't. But sometimes, I want to stop fighting because constant vigilance against it is exhausting.