December 30, 2015

Living With Depression From A First Perspective

I have to say I'm kinda jealous of today's generation. I wish all this mental health awareness was being shared and talked about when I was a teen. Twenty years ago -before it was normal, I was fighting  battles with depression every day. And I almost lost the war... I'm neither ashamed nor proud of my condition. But talking about it is necessary to bring the truth to light. It is not taboo and everyone is susceptible to mental illness.

Depression is not a state of perpetual sadness. It's being happy while at the same time questioning whether or not that happiness is genuine. It's feeling like you're on top of the world and then crashing into a pit of self-loathing. It's feeling love and kindness towards others, but not being able to actively show it.

My truth is that I live this every day. Depression is and always will be a part of me. By age seven I knew it. I just couldn't explain it. I was internally panicked at the thought of going to school in the morning. I couldn't make decisions for myself. I worried about others more than any kid should... And that was just the beginning.

I've been motivationally challenged and late for everything since I can remember. Waking up has always been the hardest thing for me to do. It takes a few hours of snoozing. Whilst I slip in and out of dreams thinking I'm awake the whole time. This being a result of Hyper-somnia. Then, the alarm goes off and my "groundhogs day" starts all over again. Because of this cycle I have chronic anxiety at the start of my day. The shift from dreams to reality is simply exhausting for me...

Between anxiety and the ever inadequate sleep I get, I feel week and incompetent most of the time. I wish to be more pro-active. But I can never determine how much sleep I will bank or how well I will feel when it's time to get going.

With depression and anxiety, the struggle starts internally and then is aggravated by the external environment. It interrupts my daily abilities. It rules my emotions. It ravages my routine. It leaves my inner clock unbalanced. And, ultimately, it manifests physically. In particular, depression triggers excessive pain and emotional flare up during my time of the month. No fair!

I am riddled with excuses as to "why I can't" almost every day. I avoid others. I avoid plans. I avoid commitment. I need to cope with my symptoms privately. Because I do not have a poker face. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Living with depression is like being in a relationship with a wall. Some days you're able to work around it. But most days are like ugh! Just leave me alone. Let me be! It's always there, in your way. Your altered ego making you compromise the things you truly want; lie to others about the amount of time you actually sleep; and, creating a wedge between you and your own Will Power!

The long and the short of it is that humans are not designed to thrive in such a fast paced society. We are disconnected from relationships while we waste our lives on social media. We push and push the younger generations to grow up too quickly. We rarely take the time to just sit and do nothing. It seems that our minds are trying to tell us there's a problem. Because more and more people are being diagnosed with mental illness. Our brains are not getting the right attention and nutrition, therefore we lose our emotions due to duress from imbalanced hormones. It's also related to the toxins in our environment and the strain on our physical health due to industry in this "dog-eat-dog" world.

I personally believe that the best answer to this epidemic is natural and available to us. We need to slow down and have a cup of tea, so to speak. Stop planning for the inevitable and learn to live in the moment. We need to fuel our bodies right, release stress positively and return to organic lifestyles. I hope that one day I have the opportunity to move out to the county and connect back with nature, my symptoms will seize to bring so much drama into my life and allow me to live a comfortably humble existence.

I know it will never go away. Most of us are predisposed to mental illness. But above all the stereotypical troubled minds in the world today, there's got to be a better way to live without perpetuating the cycle. And the answer just might be old wisdom.

Keep your chin up doll!