Monday, February 4, 2013

A day in depression

When you have a mental illness, it is difficult to tell others when you are suffering.  It is incredibly nerve-wracking, as you never know what reaction you are going to get.  With depression, not everyone understands that on the outside you might look okay, but on the inside it’s a sad, sad place.

Sometimes, I can’t get the words out of my mouth.  I suffer in silence.  I escape from reality and want nothing to do with the world.  I do everything in my power to avoid people – I don’t get up, answer the phone, or interact with people.  I barely eat, sleep, or talk.  And listening to someone?  That takes too much effort.  

Since entering college, I have had to tell many professors when my depression spikes so they know I am not just cutting class.  I hate each and every time I have to do it.  In my head I imagine all the responses I could possibly receive, and my stress level skyrockets.  It makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide, which is the opposite of what I need.   

The worst part of the cycle is the feelings of inadequacy, of weakness for not being able to handle emotions.  Then I feel worse for falling into that trap (again) and I feel like a piece of garbage.  I fall deeper into the depression the more it goes on. 

Wednesday I hid.  I did not go to class.  I avoided as much as I could Thursday and Friday.  I lay in bed all weekend, until my husband came home from work and made me get up.

Today I had to make the decision of going to class or not.  I did not want to, but there was still something that forced me to go and attempt to listen for two hours.  I was nowhere near 100%, but trying to be.  And you know what happened?  Even though I had to leave halfway through it for a break, I was still able to pay attention. 

And telling my professor why I missed class?  It was not the horrible nightmare I envisioned.  I do not know if he could sense how uncomfortable I was or if he just saw the sadness in my eyes, but he was beyond kind in his response.  So kind in fact, I cried.

Not because I was sad, but because I knew he was one of the few who understood.