I have come to realize that writing is the one place where I can quickly process my thoughts and get an answer to what’s going on in my head. Sometimes I just need to sit down, get it all out there and then go back through and address what comes up.
I have depression. Which is okay. It’s something that a lot of people have. What’s not okay is when I let it be carried by those I love.
I had a moment earlier this week. A pretty bad moment, if I’m being honest. And I need to walk through what happened so those of you who were there and were completely dumbfounded by what was occurring before their eyes can get a little understanding.
My moment happened like most of them do. The day was very normal. Nothing stressful going on, no crazy activities or events. Just sitting around having conversations with those closest to me. When life is normal I can be a pretty active speaker and contribute a lot to a conversation.
But then it happened. Someone made a comment that I didn’t really process at first. It was a simple remark that any other person would have completely overlooked.
Here’s kind of what goes on in those moments. Something will happen that will “trigger” an emotional reaction. My body will immediately react to it and go into self-defense mode, cutting off all communication to keep anything else from getting in. My mind still hasn’t processed what it was exactly that caused it, but the rest of me is still in that “protection” mode. Gradually I will start to realize what it was that caused me to feel the way I do.
Everyone could tell something shifted in me pretty quickly (let me interject by stating that this alone proves how much these people love me as most people do not realize something changed). I was asked if something was bothering me and I responded yes, I just didn’t know what it was. And in that moment, that was 100% true. I didn’t. I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t pinpoint the source. I got there not soon after, but didn’t want to address it.
Anyways. I shut down. As in hardcore I will put up huge walls and not hear the things you are saying to me. I also avoid looking at the person that caused it. It’s hard to look at someone that you love so much but feel that they have hurt you so deeply.
My immediate reaction is to run. And cry. But in this moment I couldn’t do either, so I sit there, hand over my mouth to keep myself from crying, not looking at the people who love me most knowing they could immediately address the irrational feelings I was having if I only were honest with them and spoke up.
I sit there like a moron as they hold me and pray over me for about 5 minutes. And I completely dismiss it all and make them feel like they screwed up. And I completely ignore the amazing things that others have said to me about the way I make them feel and the difference I have made in their life.
I thought I could deal with my depression. I’ve had it for a long time and typically choose to not speak about it much. I generally just distract myself from it.
What I can’t do, however, is let my depression carry over to my loved ones. It’s hard enough having it myself, so the thought of those around me being burdened by me is overwhelming and just makes things 1000 times worse.
But I’m acknowledging it. I didn’t talk to my wife about it at first. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was completely embarrassed by my behavior because I’ve never done that around people before (shows how much I let my guard down around you guys, just an fyi). I think she knew what was going on and she tried to take responsibility for it and not let them think it was something they did. And I know she was completely hurt by it, too, because I took something that was such a great moment for her and manipulated it into something negative about me.
What an amazing person she is. What a terrible one I can be.
But I did talk to her about it the next day. In fact, I made her late to work because I broke down in tears and let it all out. How exhausted I am of feeling the way I do about myself. I don’t think people truly understand the extent of the negative feelings I have about myself.
And I did something else I don’t know that I have ever done before. I talked to the person who I was hurting from. And I opened myself up to them and was honest about why I was in a dark place. I wasn’t angry, I was just sad. But I couldn’t be when I saw them the next day and they immediately hugged me and started crying, pouring their heart out to me about the heaviness they are carrying.
I can’t add to that. I want to be a person who helps others and brings joy and love to their lives.
I struggle with talking in person, but they wouldn’t let me be alone that day. I processed internally. And they were just there for me. Not knowing what they could do to help, but just being present and available whenever I needed them. Crying with me, distracting me, bringing me into their lives and reminding me that they are always there. When I did get home I completely just poured my heart out to the person I thought hurt me in one of the longest texts ever (writing… go figure).
People know me a lot more than I thought. People care and love me so much more than I thought I deserved.
So enough is enough. Today is the day I go and get back on my medication. Do I think this is going to be a fix? No, but it will be a tool that I can use to keep the dark thoughts away.
And I’m going to finally do something that I never thought I would do. I’m going to seek help and go talk to someone about where the root of all these feelings come from. Because it’s not fair of my loved ones to have to manage that. They were not trained to do it, so I shouldn’t make it their responsibility to fix it. They are my problems and I need to fix them. I will need their love and support along the way, which I know will always be available to me.
Therapists scare me. Not because I don’t want to be better, but because I’m terrified that the root of my problems are going to run so much deeper than I imagined. Or that I am going to talk to someone and they are going to say I can’t be helped. I have nothing against therapists, I guess I’m just fearful of wandering into the unknown.
But I have to. Not only for myself (mostly for myself though because these feelings of self-hatred are getting really difficult to work through), but also so my loved ones can get 95% of the good side of me (as we still all need to have a really good cry every once in awhile). I want to be better for them. So that I have the capacity to be there for them on a much deeper level without taking the things they say so personally. I don’t want my wife to feel that she has to watch the things she says around me because I might take them the wrong way. I don’t want my kids to feel that I’m not strong enough for them to come to for emotional support.
I need to be better.
I will get better.
And I can’t do it alone.
And that’s okay, because I don’t need to. Help is available for a reason, and I have the incredible love and support from some amazing people.
It’s okay to not be okay… until it’s no longer okay.
Thank you for being the people you are, loving and supporting me despite my flaws. And fostering my growth, expanding my mind and for making me a better person. I love you so incredibly much, I could never fully express it.