The scary and saddest part about depression for me is how invisible it is.
I have become so good at hiding and masking my pain that even my doctors are perplexed.
See, I “want” to be okay, which to me is being at peace with my mind, body and spirit.
But my depression does not allow that as often as I would like.
Instead I am dying of emotional pain and despair on my insides while my outside demeanor shows a different story.
That ‘display’ is happy, outgoing, content and smiling.
The conflicting parts are continually at war and being honest about the truth of my actual state of being comes into question.
I was told the other day by my psychiatrist, “Courtney, you have such a happy demeanor, it’s very hard for me to tell when you are having a bad day or when you are depressed.”
When he said that it really bummed me out.
It made me realize that for OVER 20 years now, I have been a misrepresented & conflicted girl.
Why is it so easy for me to mask my pain?
If my pain were to show on the outside, I would look like a woman who has the worst rash you have ever seen. I envision it to look like I have poison ivy all over my body. Then it would be known that something was indeed up and I most likely would look like I need help.
I don’t know if it’s my pride or my ego or my shame around the truth about what goes on deep inside my mind, but all I can tell you is that this conflict makes the struggle harder.
I have set out on my own personal mission to speak my truth about suffering with Major Depression so that maybe I could possibly align my insides with my outsides.
Today I woke up feeling very low and like a 5 year old child I declared in my head, “I DON’T WANT THIS ANYMORE!” Like that would take it away. This has been going on since I turned 18. Little did I know that it would follow me around for the next 25 years like a loyal enemy.
I know deep in my heart the only thing that can help me is 100% acceptance of what is and my what is with depression is: low days, emotional pain, struggle to show up for my life, deep sadness, sickening despair, dark thoughts and unexplained dread.
That is why the stigma around Mental Health breaks my heart.
If you saw the brain image of a person with depression and an image of person without depression, you would clearly see there is no choice in this.
This is not a sign of weakness, laziness or craziness.
I consider myself a warrior, well, more like a peaceful warrior because I fight the fight against a disease that wants to take me down. I try to fight with Grace and Love because I am completely humbled by this degree of pain.
I look forward to when the sunny days outweigh the cloudy ones and for now, any moment I get of inner peace and stillness in my mind, I am OVERLY grateful.
Love and Light,
Love you! Thanks for speaking out.
Thank you Sarah, LOVE YOU! xo
I can relate to this post. As an extrovert, lawyer, and musical theatre actress, it was easy for me to mask what was going on for decades. I’ve now been off and on medication for over 20 years. Currently on, and no longer pretending. I basically stopped going to social functions last Fall. I feel content at home reading a book or watching (documentaries, etc., but in the long run it’s probably not good for me. I have (usually) made it into work, and even performed in a show this Spring, going to one after-show event. However, the thought of being at a social gathering or even with friends makes me sick to my stomach and I start crying. Not because I am anxious, but rather because I AM TIRED OF PRETENDING.
Thank you for your bravery, thoughtfulness, and compassion.
I completely understand the pretending and how tiring that is. I have been taking meds for over 20 years as well and just recently tried TMS. Thanks for reaching out to me and if you ever want to chat I’m here! I too am an extrovert turned introvert when I am in my bad lows. The functions I have had to cancel on because of my social anxiety are far too many. You are not alone my friend. XO Courtney
Keep fighting, don’t let it take you down.
Inspiring post xx
Thank you so much xo