Today was a bad day.
I knew when I woke up this morning that it was going to be hard to make it through today- that today, depression would win. It took me 3 hours to convince myself to get out of bed and another 2 hours to get ready to go to work. During that time, I processed through all the regular questions once again:
“If I don’t go to work today, will I get fired? How bad would getting fired actually be? How long would I be able to live without a job? Does anyone even really need me at work today? What meetings do I need to reschedule? Do I even need to reschedule? Does everyone hate me?”
This internal barrage of questions is the hardest part of navigating my depression. The answers are always the same and always end up reaching the same conclusion- I am worthless, I am a burden, and everyone hates me. This toxic thinking bleeds into every aspect of my life and puts me in a terrible mood, thus making me a horrible person to be around. Today, I was grumpy, mean, and bitter. I complained more. I was short with people.
The easiest solution would be to simply change my thinking, right? This is the advice I have received over and over and over again- “if you just change your attitude, you wouldn’t be depressed”. It truly isn’t that simple. Imagine the story of the little Dutch boy and the dyke that is leaking– there are a million little holes leaking poisoning thoughts into my brain and yet I only have a few fingers to plug these holes. No matter how hard I try- the thoughts do not stop, the attitude cannot be changed, the depression will win.
This story is not to garner sympathy or to play the game of “woe is me”. I share this story because (I believe) one of the biggest misconceptions surrounding depression is that the sufferer is to blame for their disease, as one should always have control over what they feel. Depression is no one’s fault- trust me, no one would ASK for this disease. It is ugly, it hurts, and it makes some days nearly impossible.
Today was a bad day.
I wish I could end with something positive here, but as I was reminded by a friend who also struggles with depression and anxiety- sometimes the story doesn’t have a happy ending and that is okay… because tomorrow will come and it may not be the best or even a better day, but tomorrow will come and that is something to smile about.