I’ve never been “normal”—literally, never. So many people have struggled with depression at one point or another for who knows what reason. It feels uppity to claim my story is worse than any other story reported in history…but just functioning is a struggle for me. Thirty-one years of sobering/stoned horror can be relived in my journals and notes from countless therapists and psychiatrists. Time does not heal all hurt, however, and I can admit from the depths of my soul:
Depression has been the biggest struggle of my life.
For thirty-one years, my mental health has been a total lie. My quiet “perfect” persona was completely manufactured—a handful of people have ever seen who I am with no barricades, cautionary signs, etc.
I have been asked what thirty-one years of chronic depression feels like, and the only response that does not offend the general public is: excruciating. Existing day-to-day is almost numbing—I have learned to disassociate from my body. This is how I live.
In no way do I expect anyone (outside my medical team) to understand my physical/mental/emotional issues, but I do expect tolerance and an open dialogue when confusion surfaces. I cannot count the number of times doctors would view my chart, see a list of antidepressants and antipsychotics, look me in the eyes and say, “but you’re so pretty.” I’m sorry, I will come back next time my face looks jacked.
My writing about pain tends to come across as cold and factual—it is this way for a reason: I can only expose my weakness if writing from a distance because it makes others more comfortable. I will work on that.