I don’t tell many people about you. You are my shameful little secret that I keep hidden from most people. You have been with me for so long that I don’t even remember when you came in to my life. Sometimes you like to bring your friend anxiety with you.
Usually I try to keep you in a back closet, tucked away where I don’t have to see you. Most of the time I try to forget that you are even there. But you are always there. You are subtle and tricky when you start to come out again. I don’t realize it at first. You, depression, are like the light putter outer in Harry Potter. First you put out one light. I don’t notice. Then another and another. It is not until my world starts to look grey that I realize that you came out of the corner I put you in.
When I stop wanting to get up in the morning even on my days off, I know you are here. When all I want to do is binge watch Netflix, I know you escaped. When I stop wanting to do the things that were once fun for me I know you are here. You take the light out of my life.
When you bring your friend anxiety along for the ride, I know I am in for trouble. When the panic attacks start and the continual heart burn, I know anxiety is here too. When I worry about every move I make and am paralyzed by making decisions you are here.
When you first came into my life I did not know it was you, depression. You tricked me into thinking that I was just a shy teen. It was not until you had sucked all the light out of my eyes and no longer wanted to continue on did I realize it was you. Yet still I hid you from the people around me. I did not want them to see you or judge me. So I put on a smile and pretended you were not there.
When you came into my life again when I moved you were more tricky. You took advantage of my breakup to creep back in. You wormed your way back in but slower this time. Not taking out as many lights. You waited until I was having my first child to really hit me hard. Yet still I hid you. I blamed things on pregnancy hormones and life changes but I knew it was you. This time I was knew I could not put you away by myself. I knew that I needed help.
You came back this time even slower. I did not realize you were here at first. At first it was procrastinating. Then it was constantly feeling overwhelmed. It was not until the almost daily panic attacks started that I knew you had returned. Yet still I hid you from the world.
No more will I hide you, depression, from the people who care. No more will I let you into shaming me into being alone. No more will I let you rob me of my kids. No more will I let you rob me of my business. No more will I let you rob me from enjoying my life. Depression, you do not get to steal my life from me. This is my life and you cannot have it.
Good bye, don’t come back. But if you do come back I will be ready. I will not let you take my life again. I am ready with help, support and love.
Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults. Women with Poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to develop depression. If you are feeling depressed, please seek help. You do not have to go through it alone.
Author: Kelsey Root
Editor: Travis May