Within the last year, I have tried to listen more and be less reactionary. It takes work to see how and why someone did or said something from their perspective but with a little work (and a crap ton of deep breaths), progress can be made. In fact, the way I was planning on writing this post would have been very reactionary and straight from emotions (which is totally fine sometimes) but for the most part, people don’t say or do things to be hurtful..for the most part.
This past weekend a comment was made to me and while it was something that probably didn’t even register to the commenter, it hit me hard. Mainly because it is a comment I have heard throughout the years. It’s no secret that I struggle with Depression and for a long time I still didn’t even understand what Depression was or how it was effecting me. As a teenager and in my early 20?s I just knew I was very sad and unmotivated and hated everything about myself and this became my definition of Depression – being really sad. I’m now at the point where I know and understand my Depression (and I say “my” because Depression looks different on everyone) and how it looks on me. My Depression is dark and deep. It’s more than just being sad. I am basically lethargic – unmotivated, lack of focus, no drive, not exercising, not able to complete anything, lack of memory, and going through the motions of life just to get to my bed as soon as possible. It’s been two years since I have had a depressive episode. But within those two years I have been accused of being Depressed.
Someone diagnosed with Depression can just be sad. Crazy, right?! The last couple of years have not been easy and I have taken some hits but I have kept going. Yes, I have cried, been quiet, sad, and wanted to be left alone but it doesn’t mean I’m depressed – I’m just going through some things (just like everyone does) and since I am not a robot, I am affected. Also, in the last two years I have had to deal with some things I never thought would be a part of my life (mostly stemmed from divorce) but I have kept living. Truly living. I have made small steps that are gearing me towards the life I have wanted to live. Others may not see it but I have seen it in myself (and that?s the most important part). Is it perfect? Hell no! But it is an improvement.
If you are someone who is struggling with Depression, I encourage you to speak with a professional to pinpoint your Depression and what is the best way to handle it. Even if you aren’t struggling with Depression, I would also encourage you to do some research. You may know someone who is struggling with Depression and you may have inadvertently said something that could have been very triggering (yes, this word is overused but, whatever).