I wanted to take a minute and talk about my personal war with depression. I’ve been very open and honest about this but I’ve not updated you guys on how I’m doing in a little while. I feel like it’s been forever, actually.
First of all, I want to say that yes, I still struggle with depression. Barring some breakthrough in science and medicine, I think depression will be around forever. That being said, I manage my depression quite well and for the most part, it doesn’t play a prominent role in my life. If it’s not managed well or I go through a very difficult time, the balance I’ve worked very hard to establish, can be thrown off. When that happens, I can struggle a bit.
I’ve actually been doing pretty good lately. I don’t think I’ve had any major issues. There have been some rather emotional moments in my life over the last couple of months. Some good and some very painful but nothing that really tipped the balance of power between myself and my depression.
Life isn’t perfect but I’m definitely keeping my depression in check. I take my meds, talk to my therapist, and have made tons of lifestyle changes that help on the back end. I have also learned that it’s okay to not be okay. I embrace that because it allows me to recognize that I don’t have to be strong all the time.
There really isn’t any way to completely eliminate depression or the risk of becoming overwhelmed by it at some point. The key for me has been treating depression like an ongoing war. There will be battles I win and some that I lose. I try very hard to win more than I lose. At the end of the day, even when my depression has the upper hand, I know it’s but one battle. I’m very careful not to beat myself up over these losses because that just fuels the depression. I know that I will go to bed, wake up the next morning and have a whole new chance to kick depression’s ass.
It’s all about balance for me, most of the time, the balance is in my favor, but I forgive myself for the times it isn’t.
There is still so much stigma attached to things like depression. People are afraid to get help for fear of being shamed. We need to do better as a society. There is no shame in mental illness. There’s no shame in talking to a therapist, or asking for help. You’re allowed to not be okay sometimes. You don’t always have to be strong but you’re not allowed to quit.