As I’ve mentioned before, I like to consider myself a bubbly, friendly person who likes interaction with loved ones and friends but, up until recently, I thought I had lost that sparkle about myself. I’ve had the same group of close girlfriends since the end of Junior High and really would do anything for each one of them.
They have all supported me even through times when I thought that I didn’t deserve it. I have been flaky, reclusive and neglectful to my closest confidants, the women who have shown me the utmost kindness. As I am learning more about the effects of Depression and Anxiety, I am starting to relieve myself of the guilt and resentment towards myself that I have been harboring for years. I’ve always wondered, “why don’t you want to leave the house” or “why don’t you want to lay out by the pool with your friends today”? I was constantly making excuses and then mentally punishing myself later, ending up more unhappy and isolated than I started. This downward spiral began in high school, around the time I started to struggle with Depression and Anxiety. Not caring about anything, wanting to be by myself, and not wanting to leave my comfort zone are all effects of these debilitating mental illnesses and I had absolutely no clue. There was never a chunk of years that I had more feelings of self-loathing, confusion, and more importantly, loneliness. My friends made and continue to make me so happy, so why wouldn’t I want to be with or participate in fun activities with them? This was the question I asked myself every day for years and years.
As I have been officially diagnosed and medicated, I am finding MYSELF more and more. I have started to unwind and bloom, just like a Morning Glory flower at sunrise. I am starting to have interest in more things in general and have even been able to step outside of my comfort zone to some extent. I regularly keep in contact with my friends now through texts, FaceTime, lunch dates, and pictures as opposed to my “flakiness” before.
I have always cared about those dear to me but now I feel like those feelings are highlighted in neon colors now. I am saying “yes” to ideas and activities that I would have normally automatically said “no” to. A big part of this recovery and improvement has been the realization that it wasn’t all my fault and that Depression is to blame. Depression makes you want to curl up in the fetal position on your bed covered by all of the blankets and pillows in your house and never leave that spot. Depression makes you lose some of the color, joy, and excitement from your life and it can only be found on rare occasions (for me, Disneyland), or if you try really hard. That’s the twist though, Depression and Anxiety makes you not want to try or care or feel or act.
For those suffering with these mental illnesses, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You are the victim of a truly isolating feeling caused by Depression and Anxiety, so don’t blame yourself. Only through treatment and honesty with yourself and your loved ones can you relieve yourself of those feelings. I used to be the person who avoided people I knew in grocery stores or at the mall because I didn’t want to have to “try” and now it all seems so effortless again. The road to recovery is going to be a long one, however it is seeming brighter and more worthwhile every day. Keep trying, Keep pushing forward, Keep your head up and your soul at ease. Everything will be okay.
A special thank you to Shelb, Jo jo and Sar for sticking by me through everything. When I let you know what was going on with me, you all handled it so gracefully and really supported me. I am BLESSED to have sisters like you in my life. Always and forever.