Yeah, yeah, there are pros but ALSO CONS.
It is important to look at the “bright side” of having depression. I’m aware of that. How it makes you a stronger person and blah blah. But, it’s not NOT a mental health illness.
- No Control – I have no control over when an episode is going to hit. Okay, the external factors I may be able to combat or change, BUT, for me, a lot of the problems I have come right around when my hormones change due to monthly issues. I can’t stop the fact that I’m… a fucking woman. Even when I sleep, and eat, and exercise, my irritability is SO aggressive around then. Which sucks.
- Stigma – This is a big one. If I was sick, I would just call out “I’m sick.” But when I’m having an episode, I can’t just call out “I’m having an episode.” I’m scared they’re gonna think that I can’t do my job. I can. I rarely call out for an episode anymore. And just the stigma in general… the way society looks at mental health illness, and the things people say to you because they don’t understand how it works. Luckily, we are in a time now where people are talking more and more about mental health illness, but that doesn’t mean there’s no stigma!
- Speaking Out – This kind of goes with stigma, but I’m always nervous about this blog being found by people that will take it the wrong way. Especially when it comes to jobs! That because I talk about it, and because I curse, I will miss opportunities.
- Episodes – Obviously, one of the worst parts of depression are the actual episodes themselves. The feelings of hopelessness and sadness are something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
- The Planning – Sometimes, it’s exhausting to try to do everything I need to do so I don’t fall into an episode. I have to plan everything. I have to think about everything. Should I have a drink? I don’t know, will it make me depressed tomorrow? Will it react with my medication? Can I stay up late and watch this movie? No, I know that will make me more likely to have an episode tomorrow. Eating well, sleeping, exercising, seeing the therapist, talking to friends, all this is stuff people want to do for a better life, but if I don’t do it I could fall into a fucking episode. I feel like I’m always planning, watching myself, controlling my actions, and of course the end result is a balanced life, but it feels like I can never just let go.
- Relationship Strain – Ironically, deeper connections was one of my pros. But, especially with my close relationships, like my husband and closest friends, I’m afraid of how I can act. They are the people who see the darkest sides of me, and the people who deal with me lashing out the most. While opening up to them can lead us to being closer, it can also subject our relationship to hardship.
Dealing with a lifelong mental health illness has made me a stronger person overall, that’s for sure. More open, more compassionate. But I feel as though I always have it with me, that it’s always there… waiting… to strike.
Wow, what a bummer. Hey! Go read my “Pros” list instead! That will make us all feel better.