Depression is real. It’s not the same as being sad or feeling blue either. Everybody experiences moments of sadness and has times when the tears flow easily because of an unexpected life change. But with sadness the sun comes out, the tears dry up and life goes on.
Depression is more intense than that. It’s felt deep, it hits hard and it lingers for days, months and sometimes even years without a true grasp as to why. It’s not a part of your imagination or something you’ve made up.
Life changes living with a chronic illnesses. It changes daily and that can be a hard thing to deal with…living a life filled with uncertainty and constant change. One day you may wake up feeling great and the next day you find you can’t even get out of bed. That kind of turbulence has a tendency to wear on emotions and brings with it a feeling of hopelessness and despair.
I understand how easy it is to grow weary and tired, to go through periods when you would rather hide away than face another day, to become overwhelmed and long for just the tiniest amount of relief.
Our lives are filled with people but sometimes it simply takes too much energy to be around them. Sometimes it’s not even being around them that’s the hard part, sometimes it’s just that putting on a real smile takes too much energy. No one likes to fake-smile their way through a day, but sometimes we do it because we have no other option.
Know that you aren’t alone. I think everyone hits a place in their MS journey when depression becomes real, tears flow, reality sets in, and choices have to be made. Hard choices. How do you bounce back from a deep, dark place of despair? How do you shake feelings that are so overwhelming you find yourself drowning? How do you learn to live again when you feel as if there’s nothing left to live for?
Please know that it’s okay to ask for help. There’s nothing wrong in reaching out to your doctor or others for support and there’s nothing wrong in choosing to take a medication to help you get through the turmoil you find yourself in. I know how hard it can be, but don’t try to make it alone. We need one another and we need to be able to talk about what’s happening deep inside without fear of being judged or not taken seriously.
I know it’s not easy, but you can rise above the chaos. You can pull out of the messiness that life throws at you and rise above it all to a better place; a place filled with hope, smiles, laughter and joy. It starts with you taking care of you first.
When you feel like you are sinking deeper and deeper into nothingness, you have to put everything else aside to focus on yourself. Yes, you are that valuable. You matter!
Never apologize for who you are. You are important, loved, special…and you are going to make it through even this. It’s okay to be real, to hurt, to be human. Let the tears flow but if you find yourself hanging out in the puddles for too long, reach out for help.