Depression is more than just having the blues. According to the Center for Disease Control, depression is a serious medical illness. It affects one out of every twenty Americans over the age of twelve and is more prevalent in women than men. It can affect a person’s ability to work, do well in school, socialize, and even their physical well-being. And because of that, below are the seven things having chronic depression has taught me not to take for granted.
It almost seems comical, doesn’t it? Depression is always shown as being someone who can’t get out of bed or, who spends their time sleeping. That may be true for some people but, for others, the simple act of closing your eyes and getting rest is as foreign as trying to nap on a bed full of thumbtacks. Every worry you’ve ever had starts running through your brain and almost nothing will get it to stop. And yes, I’ve counted sheep, goats, spanks, cocks, and sung the alphabet backwards and forwards. Insomnia goes hand in hand with depression.
Depression physically hurts
There are days when just getting from the bed to the coffee pot is a Herculean task. And once I’m there? I can promise you, there isn’t enough caffeine on the face of this planet or the next for me.
All The Food. Literally. All of it.
I like to eat. I love to bake. My body type fluctuates between “curvy” and “extra curvy”. (technically I do BBW phone sex) I bake when I’m stressed out, when I’m trying to work through a plot hole, or when I feel like I need to work through an issue. When I’m having a depressive episode, I don’t bake but that doesn’t stop me from spending my Q3 earnings on cookies and ice cream at Publix. I don’t eat to comfort myself; I eat to drown the voices in my head that tell me how shitty I am. (Yes, I know they aren’t real and I’m not a shitty person most of the time)
Depression doesn’t want to hang out
“Hey, we’re all having dinner at Jen’s house. You should stop by.” At this point, they may as well be inviting me to be flayed alive by a sociopath. And it’s not that I don’t love my friends and family, as I’m sure you do as well. It’s just the idea of taking a shower, getting dressed, putting on make-up, and going to someone’s home and plaster a smile on my face is the last thing I want to do. I’d rather stab myself with a spork, to be honest.
I love you. Now stop asking me to fuck.
Depression and sex don’t mix. It’s not you, it’s definitely me. I can barely fake a smile, let alone an orgasm. If you’re lucky I can still write porn.
Pick a song!
Depression sometimes has ADD. I know when I’m in the midst of a fog, I can’t pick a song to listen to on Spotify. I can’t concentrate on a television show to follow even a thirty-minute plot. I’ll flip channels, skip songs to hear the next one on my “eclectic” playlist. I’ll be reading something and decide I want to read something else. I’m not trying to make you crazy, I swear. I just don’t know what I want to listen to that won’t make my depression even worse (HINT: Dropkick Murphys, when I’m in a mood like this, will reduce me to sniveling tears.)
This one seems petty but for me, having depression has taught me to embrace those moments when I can laugh and actually feel like I’ve laughed. Most of the time, I’m faking it and trying to fit in. It’s usually successful and only those that have known me forever can pick up on it. True laughter, the kind that comes from your gut, is rare. I cherish the moments as they come to me.
What has depression taught you? Leave a comment or find me on Twitter.