Depression is like a thick fog, imprisoning you from the joys of the world. Consumed by sadness, and dullness, it feels as though you’re trudging through think mud. Everything takes so much effort. And sleep, sleeeep becomes so hard. For me, that’s the worst. It’s never enough, at least it feels so because the effort required is so draining.
What’s strange is that the very nature of depression almost seems to blind you from how consumed you are. For me, I’ve known for many years how to identify my depression and how to level-up my self-care.
And my self-care is radical. I show up for myself in the best of ways. I sleep, exercise, eat, remove the things that deplete me, like tv and emotional eating. I reach out to the strong community I’ve built and I surround myself with people who truly see and celebrate me.
But friends, the best self-care is not enough when battling depression. It’s just not.
I’ve spent the last six months so in love with my life that I failed to appreciate how vulnerable I am when I remove my safety net: medication, perfected over the last twelve years.
The nature of our healthcare system left me with a lapse in my insurance coverage. Paying for private coverage or paying out-of-pocket for prescriptions was prohibitive and I spent two weeks without my safety net.
And friends, I fell. My radical self-care softened my fall and my bottom was not nearly as low as it once was. But it still hurt. A lot. I cried all the time, found myself fighting the urge to retreat and isolate.
My loved ones were lost for how to help, embracing me but ultimately powerless to ease my pain.
Eventually, my insurance and medication were restored. And soon enough, I came back to life. The fog lifted and I walk on solid ground again. But wow, such a humbling experience; even I am not invincible to dysfunctional brain chemistry. Really, no one is.
And yet, the resistance to medication is prevalent. Loved ones are so in the thick of the fog that they (1) don’t see the benefits that the safety net offers and (2) don’t realize that hands are waiting to guide them out. They actively resist the help they need, so they stay there, in the fog.
Friends, if you struggle with a persistent sadness, when activities you once found joy in fail to light you up, when life takes so much effort that you’re exhausted all the time… this is my plea to you, choose health and happiness. It’s available to you, and it’s amazing.
Of course, self-care is still extremely important, whatever that looks like to you. It allows you to soar, but medication catches you if you fall. Don’t fly without a safety net.
Reaching out and accepting help may feel impossible, but it is worth it. YOU are worth it, friend.