Anyone who’s been around this ole blog since at least 2018 would know I’ve had great difficulties with my mental illnesses from the time I was a senior in high school (though I didn’t mention my struggles until I was in college). Although I can be quite a secretive person when it comes to my personal issues in real life, I’m not one to shy away from spilling my guts online (as if anyone cares to know my hidden self). I’ve blogged extensively about my experience with anxiety, depression, therapy, EMDR, and all of their effects on my life. Of course, I wouldn’t share any of those details with anyone in the flesh.
My depression reached its ultimate peak post-college graduation in 2019 when I was separated from my best friends and had been ghosted by every single job I applied for and that’s when I started seeing a therapist once a week. I found lots of progress thanks to my therapist Dr. Jenny who was kind, understanding, and felt like a friend. However in October 2020, I decided to stop going to therapy as I felt I’d learned and practiced everything I could through my psychologist. I thought I was all better—or at least as “good” as one who was diagnosed with depression could be. I enjoyed my job for the most part, I had other part-time jobs to help pay down my student loans, I was spending lots of time with my family and friends, and I felt healthier. And I have been generally happy since then until the end of April.
*Disclaimer: this is not a cry for help!!* My depression “came back” suddenly and I didn’t anticipate feeling similarly to my 2019 self. Nothing has changed over the last few months and in fact, I should be even more joyful. I’m living with my partner who is kind, generous, patient, and loving; I live in a wonderful apartment with more space than my previous one; I still spend so much time with my family and friends; and I’m at no risk financially. I’m truly lucky. But those privileges haven’t made me feel any less sad, dark, or useless over the past couple of months. Part of my spiral is caused by me comparing myself to other people and their successes while the other part is a general self-destructive/self-loathing bit buried in my lil’ brain that I can’t control. I wish I didn’t put so much pressure on myself to be a successful, special, and impactful person like so many other people I know, but that’s not always the case. I wish I had a focused path toward what I should become and I also wish that I would enjoy my life now as I’m living it. And ultimately, I wish I gave myself space to accept that I can’t just make my depression go away and that my illness is something I will always have to live with. Maybe in the future I’ll be in a better place where I know what I want and how to get there and perhaps I’ll be gentler with myself too.