To talk about depression! What a treat, am I right? Let me get one thing out of the way, right off the bat: I am FINE. Please don't be worried about me or distressed in any way. I've avoided the topic on various online mediums as much as possible because not only do I not want to worry any of my loved ones, but I also don't want to turn this space (or any other online space that I inhabit) into my own personal LiveJournal. That would just be too embarrassing to bear. But I do want to let you know what's up over on my side of the computer screen, since it's been affecting basically all aspects of my life.
I've struggled with various levels of depression throughout my adult life, and (depending on the severity of it) I've sought out the necessary help to get through it. In the past I've been to therapy, tried every holistic remedy there is to offer, gotten massages, talked to friends, drank copious amounts of wine, etc. My depression varies. It isn't the same every time. In my early twenties, it manifested itself in disordered eating and a profound self-loathing; a true chemically imbalanced depression that I overcame with the help of medical professionals. Since then, I've more or less been able to manage any small bouts of depression with my diet, exercise, and finding creative outlets.
When I moved to New York a few years ago, I knew that I would struggle with the weather changes. Any person who was born and raised in Los Angeles and then moves to the East Coast can attest to this. I am not unique in this scenario. I've done as much self-care as possible these past few years to try and curb the severity of what I knew would be difficult winters since I moved here. Some winters have been hard, and some not so much! Last year I was pretty much fine!
Something that I did NOT anticipate when I moved here, was that all of a sudden I would have allergies. Bad allergies. And I had no idea that allergies could seriously fuck your shit up. I've been walking around the past couple months clawing my goddamn eyeballs out, living in my glasses (which I detest), and feeling like a gross schlub with a permanent headache. I had no idea how much this would impact me. If I wear contacts for more than a few hours, my eyes go blurry, and I spend the whole day rubbing my eyes and squinting. It's highly uncomfortable. If I am in my glasses for days at a time, I just don't feel like myself. No amount of lipstick really makes me feel better. It's part of the PTSD that comes with wearing giant glasses since you're 6 years old. I've been to the doctor and I've got medicine for it, it just doesn't ever seem to work fast enough for me!
So, we've got shitty weather + allergies + general anxiety about my life and career and where it's going and that = a pretty crappy depression.
It ebbs and flows; I'm not sad all of the time. Yes, it manifests itself in unhappiness at times, but it also manifests as an inability to concentrate, feeling uninspired, unintelligent, nauseous, headache-y, impatient with myself, or straight-up angry that I'm not better at life. Basically feeling completely unlike myself. Because if you know me, you know that feeling like a powerful and badass bitch is important to me. I was telling my sister the other day that I feel like I've gotten stupider in the last few weeks. I can't form a complex or critical thought to save my life, it seems. And the thing is, I know it will pass. I already feel better than I did last week and the only place to go is up. I have a lot of support in my life and I don't take it for granted. But sometimes masks and facials and lipstick just aren't enough. And sometimes I don't have it in me to take care of myself in that way. And I just haven't lately. But I promise you I've been drinking my golden milk tea, and reading books that inspire me, protecting myself from negative internet comments, working out (and hating every second of it) and watching lots of I Love Lucy. I haven't really had the brain-space to come up with posts for this blog that I find to be worthy of your readership this week, and for that, I apologize. But I'd rather be honest with you than throw up some half-assed shit that no one gives a fuck about.
Talking about depression is scary, not just because I don't want to burden my family and friends, but because there is still a huge stigma surrounding mental illness. And it's not just a social stigma, it's on every level, especially as a woman. You know I don't give two fucks about what some rando I went to high school with thinks about me. I worry about what it means to seek out help through my insurance because then it's out there for them to treat me like I'm incompetent for like, ever. What could that mean for my future regarding trying to find insurance? Would future employers see that record? And I worry about doing a good job at my work because I don't have the luxury of savings to take time off. I worry about what it will mean to be a woman who has been open about her depression when it comes to my ability to take care of children; both the ones I care for now that are not mine, and any future children that I may bear. I worry that someone will see me as an emotional, attention-seeking woman, instead of a human being who is complicated and wants to be open with people. And I worry that I have no right to talk about this publicly at all. Many have done so with much more eloquence and grace than I possibly ever could, and relatively speaking, my problems are peanuts compared to most people's.
I'll be back here before you know it, ready to crush the patriarchy and kick some ass; my favorite things! (probably next week!) I just need a little time to sort through my head and feel like myself again. I am confident that it will be soon. All I can say is thank you for your continued support, I appreciate you coming here more than you know.
And no, I'm not pregnant.