People often ask me “What’s it liketo live with a mental illness like depression? Here’s my description (can you relate to any of these?) :
1. Thinking is harder when you carry the heavy burden of depression around. It’s cloudy and the ability to make choices is hampered. Simple, easy tasks that most people do without even thinking become something monumental on our to do list. We have to constantly assess a task and determine if it’s urgent enough to summon up the energy or motivation to get it done. If it doesn’t meet our criteria for that day, it doesn’t get done.
2. Physically, it’s exhausting. For myself personally, I sometimes feel like my limbs are tethered down by heavy weights. It seems like I’m doing every task as if I was walking against a strong current of water …stumbling and using all my strength to not get swept away. The sadness of depression can be felt within the very depths of my body and I ache from the inside out.
3. Emotionally, my world is chaotic. I can’t tell you why I’m sad, but the feelings of sadness and shame are with me constantly, like a dark cloud that follows me wherever I go. There are times that the cloud lifts momentarily and I experience glimpses of happiness and that is what sustains me for getting through my days. Hope that the cloud will lift for good.
Depression effects me physically, cognitively and emotionally. Although this is my burden to bear, I am strong enough to carry this heavy load. I try to show myself and others compassion for being able to live a good life whilst battling a bad disease and do my best to give hope that we can learn to manage our symptoms.