If my relationship with depression had a Facebook status, it would definitely be ‘it’s complicated.’ My conflicting emotions about mental illness are not conventional nor straight forward. This is why…
I hate my depression.
I hate the way its relentless power can control my every thought. It physically and mentally exhausts me, stealing the little energy that I have and my enjoyment of things that were once fun.
My depression has been the foundation of my self-destruction and the explosive big red button to numerous friendships. It disguises my personality and has robbed my will to live on far too many occasions.
I hate the way it tightly grips my mind, weighs down my being and pokes at my tear ducts until they burst like a riverbank. It is a dark force that casts a convincing spell and creates a cesspool of confusion, anger and fear.
It exercises its strength with a fierce persistence, creating a black hole that absorbs all sign of life. If it’s not leading the devil at the front of my mind, it is lurking in the background, quietly influencing every decision and waiting to pounce and sink its claws into me at any moment.
I hate that it interferes with my relationships and makes them all the more difficult and complicated. Depression is an ugly illness that makes the feeling of love both a blessing and a curse. It is cruel, overwhelming and extremely convincing when it tells me I am worth nothing and everyone would be happier without me around. I feel guilty for seeking constant reassurance and emotional reassurance. I’m sorry for my lack of trust. It makes me feel like such a burden. Without trying to sound like a walking cliché, it’s not you, it’s me.
I hate that it put me in hospital and wastes away my days by confining me to my bed. Worst of all, I hate the worry and concern it conflicts of my family.
I love my depression too.
Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness’? There’s an odd sense of comfort in feeling sad because it is familiar to me. I like things that are familiar because uncertainty scares me. I don’t like the unknown. As much as I want to be happy, it can provide false hope. I try to make the most of my ‘good’ days, but there is always a part of me that is on edge of high anxiety because I know depression can take control at any moment. I feel like I’m constantly waiting for it to resurface.
Depression can make you feel vulnerable, so it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. It’s like someone opening their arms to you in a desperate time of need and then suddenly turning their back on you without warning.
Depression is my bully, but it is also my friend. My most loyal friend that never leaves me. A dark space that is created just for me is always ready to catch me when I fall. It is the angel and the devil on both shoulders. It is a persistent and constant entity, and I know what to expect. I didn’t know it was possible for something to make you feel so safe and unsafe at the same time. It convinces me that it will protect me, even though depression itself is the danger.
Who am I?
The illness has the talent to make you feel so alone. However, I am worried without it, I will feel even more isolated. Its darkness has engulfed me for so long, my diagnosis has become such a large part of me that I am scared as to what I am without it. Who would I be without OCD and depression? Without my antidepressants, will I simply revert back to the mess and I was pre medication? Would my psychosis return? I’m overflowing with questions I don’t know the answers too and I am beyond frustrated.
This is a vicious cycle that I hope I have done my best to explain. My fear of recovery is not a logic I can justify, but I will push on and fight to get better. It’s do or die, and I will not be manipulated or beaten by mental illness.