Happy Monday people! I know, Mondays, not really such a happy day for the majority of us who had to drag our tired asses off to work this morning after a weekend that almost certainly wasn’t long enough, and are now dragging those same, even more tired asses back home to cook dinner, do laundry, pay bills, blah blah blah… But I’m trying to be a little more positive and optimistic, so HAPPY MONDAY! Congratulations on getting through!
Anyway, I thought I’d do something a little bit different with today’s post. If you’ve been reading for a while, you may have noticed that while I share a little, I’m not inclined to be as super open and sharing as a lot of other bloggers. That’s no reflection on you guys, it’s more a character flaw of mine; I tend to be extremely reserved, introverted, a closed book. But recent happenings in my life and resulting conversations with a few trusted friends have led to some realisations that while we are all fighting our own battles, we do not necessarily have to fight them alone, nor do we have to simply shut up about them.
Sometimes the bravest thing is not to keep your problems to yourself and deal with them stoically and alone. Sometimes, the bravest thing we can do is to share our battles and vulnerabilities, in the hopes that others fighting similar battles can see that they’re not alone and find courage in that, to maybe fight a little harder themselves.
So, let me be brave. After many, many years of struggling alone (I’m talking over a decade), let me say that my personal struggle is with depression, anxiety and disordered eating. Let me say that it’s not easy to deal with it, and that I’m not special; there are millions of people who deal with these things every single day, most of whom will never share these battles. You may have absolutely no idea that someone you care about is fighting; most people who know me will have absolutely no idea whatsoever. And I’m not writing this because I want people to know what I’m dealing with. I want no attention, no being treated any differently, no fanfare, no bullshit.- I’d quite happily continue dealing with my shit alone. I’m writing it because what’s helped me most so far is realising that there are other people out there dealing with the same thing and making progress, so while I hate to share, if my sharing helps even one person out there to know they’re not alone, and makes a difference to or even saves just one life, that’s worth it.
Depression, anxiety, disordered eating – they’re really shitty things to deal with. The stigma around it all is still there. Because there aren’t generally many physical symptoms, not like with other mental illnesses like anorexia, for example, people don’t take it as seriously. “Just cheer up, your life isn’t that bad, there are people out there who have it way worse than you!” May as well tell a diabetic to just “get it together and regulate your insulin levels!” Just because we look “normal,” doesn’t mean we’re not drowning on the inside. You can’t see the black cloud that follows us around, sucking up all our energy and happiness. You can’t see our scars, emotional and/or physical. You can’t see the self-hatred behind the fake smiles. You can’t see the panic attacks over what to order at restaurants before you leave the house, or the binge eating that goes on behind closed doors, or the after-math of that. You don’t see any of it. But, it’s there.
AFL footballer Mitch Clark recently and very bravely spoke out about his personal battle, and I think this post he wrote a few weeks back on Facebook sums it up pretty well…
People think depression is sadness. People think depression is crying. People think depression is dressing in black. But people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. Being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again. Days aren’t really days, they are just annoying obstacles that need to be faced. When you’re depressed, you grasp on to anything that can get you through the day. Even in a strange way you fall in love with your depression because you think it’s all you have. It’s not being able to see a way out, to see something good, to feel normal. That’s what depression is, not sadness or tears, it’s the overwhelming sense of numbness and the desire for anything that can help you make it from one day to the next. Please don’t suffer in silence and alone. Reach out and ask for help.
So, as I finally put on my big girl pants and reach out and ask for help after half a life time of trying to go it alone, I hope that others can start to do the same. I hope those of you who are fortunate enough not to be dealing with these issues first hand can be gracious and understanding and non-judgmental of those of us who are. Remember, you’ve only got one life; you should never be too busy to save it.
13 thoughts on “You’re not alone.”
Thanks for sharing this with us. I haven’t been clinically depressed, I think, not in the sense of fulfilling DSM criteria, but I can relate to so much of it. What you said — “Just because we look “normal,” doesn’t mean we’re not drowning on the inside. You can’t see the black cloud that follows us around, sucking up all our energy and happiness. You can’t see our scars, emotional and/or physical. You can’t see the self-hatred behind the fake smiles.” — perfectly sums up how I feel sometimes. I follow one blogger here on WP who writes about her depression and eating disorder, and there is at least one other blogger I follow who, like me, is in and out of the dark place. And it helps a bit, to know that other people are going through the same things as you are. So thanks for sharing, and here’s hoping we always get enough light to drown out the dark. xx
Ohh thanku so much for being brave enough to write this, and I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with it, too 😦 I’m glad that what I wrote has helped you expand your support network though, and I hope that the light keeps finding you and eventually does drown out your darkness xoxoxo
What a wonderful post, thanks for sharing this! I’m with you, we may think being brave is just dealing with everything on you own, but doing something like this actually takes courage and I admire you for that. This is the very first time for me in your blog and I will stick around 🙂
Ohh thank you SO much for stopping by with those beautiful words Maru, that means the world to me 🙂 xo
I know how tough it is to share things online — like you, I tend to opt for the safer, keep-readers-at-arms-length attitude — so this is so, so brave. Good for you for reaching out and for sharing your story for all the right reasons. I don’t really know what to say except that I’m sorry to hear about the things you’re going through, and that, even if you struggle with keeping your own days bright, this blog really does brighten up other people’s days, and that’s so amazing. So thank you for that 🙂
Also, the owl is beautiful!
Thank you so much for reaching out with such kind words Lydia, truly, it means the world to read that I’m brightening someone else’s day 🙂
And the owl IS beautiful, the artist did an incredible job! xoxo
Thank you for sharing this post. I totally relate to that feeling of numbness… of wanting to stay hidden in bed and sleep, rather than get up and face the day. For me this this doesn’t happen every single day, and I haven’t spoken to any professionals so I wouldn’t say I have ‘depression’, but I still hesitate to talk to people about it… I fear that people won’t understand unless they’ve experienced it themselves. So reading your post makes me feel like there are more people out there that I can talk to. xx Ani
Btw, that’s a lovely tattoo!
Thank you so much Ani, for sharing your story, too. It’s been overwhelmingly surprising and comforting to have had so much support and understanding from people who’ve reached out since writing this post – you might be surprised to see how many people will do the same for you 🙂 I hope the darkness lifts for you too xoxo
Everyone needs to know they’re not alone. I’m also dealing with that stuff, so thank you for sharing these thoughts. It helps always.
I’m glad you’re feeling a little less alone after reading 🙂 I hope things start to change for the better for you soon! xo