Most of you didn’t know me then. There are very few people left in my life who did. And to those who are still in my life . . . thank you. Thank you for being witness to my experience.
Everything is so incredibly different now that I can barely recognize who I am, or who I was. The past is vague and fuzzy but I force myself to remember. I could hide it all. I could take my meds every morning and night, go to my therapist every month and my psychiatrist every 4 months and say “oh I have an appointment.” I could keep this illness I live with quiet.
But that would feel too much like lying.
Because I was hurting so badly. I was lost in this fog of depression and ups and downs and meds and therapy and self harm and there was no path. There has never been a path. Sometimes I feel guilty for having come to where I am today. Survivor’s guilt I guess. Because while I know how I got here, there are no answers to be found in it for anyone else. Only the knowledge that it is possible to find your way out of the fog.
The only answer is to keep going. They say when you are lost to stay put, and search and rescue will find you. It’s easier to track down a stationary target.
But what if no one knows to look?
Because that is the way depression is many times. We can and we do hide it. We go about our day at work or school and smile and laugh and go home and collapse. We use every ounce of energy we have to keep a smile on our face and we hide from how we feel.
Sometimes I still go missing. I find myself wandering off the trail I have created. Because I miss the wilderness. I know it might sound kind of fucked up but there is a part of me that misses the dark years.
Because as hard as they were, they were also easy. It is easier for me to self harm than to not self harm. It is easier for me to sleep than to stay up. It is easier for me to be depressed. It is so much easier.
Because staying well is hard work. It is constant, frustrating work. It is taking the negative thoughts and disproving them, sometimes every second of the day. It is rationalizing with yourself when you’re getting irrational. It involves pushing through with a smile some days. Because sometimes you have to fake it till you make it.
We all make choices every moment of every day. And those choices matter. Every single stupid minute choice makes a difference. Every second counts.
I choose to stay healthy. I choose to put in the work to be well. I choose to take my medication. I choose to go to therapy. I choose to find joy in shitty situations.
What do you choose?