An Ode to Depression

Depression is a strange thing.

This past week, I went through a pretty major depressive episode; one that I didn’t realize I was going through until it was almost over.

I have no shame in saying I was depressed, because it felt like any physical cold or flu would- something was attacking my body; my mind. I couldn’t control it, and I just had to let it ride.

It stopped very suddenly, and my world went from black and white to color in the blink of an eye. I could suddenly feel anxious thoughts coming toward me, and my mind almost pushing them away. Everything felt so intentional… so physical. This felt like a real attack on my own mind, and my mind was simply trying to defend itself.

I studied psychology in school and find depression very interesting. It doesn’t manifest itself in the ways you would expect…. it’s not all crying and sadness.

It’s so much more, so much deeper.

Depression is numb.

Depression is not feeling any particular joy in any activity, but also no sadness about it either.

Depression is not being able to concentrate on any one activity, and then feeling frustrated about it.

I view it as a physical, chronic illness, and I have never really understood why people find it to be so taboo, when most of the people in our country experience this at some time in their lives.

When I feel depressed, I become very introspective. I mentally log everything going on; every feeling, every thought… what makes me feel happy? What pushes me past the point of basic sadness?

I begin to see the world differently when I become depressed. I hear lyrics in songs in a whole new way. I see people in a more compassionate light. 

So sometimes I hate this chronic illness… but other times I’m grateful for what I have gained from it.

Because of my depression, I have spent years in therapy working on myself. I have found peace within myself, most of the time, and can communicate my feelings effectively. This is something I don’t think I would have learned without depression.

So depression, I’m grateful for you.

Thank you for teaching me how to be strong.

Thank you for teaching me compassion; towards others, but also towards myself.

Thank you for helping me achieve an incredibly healthy romantic relationship with my soon to be husband.

Thank you for holding me back, so then I can critically think about my life, and where I want to be.

Because of you, I have created a life for myself that I love.