I shared a blog post on Facebook yesterday. It reminded me of something I’ve been meaning to say for a minute now. This isn’t going to be particularly fun but I need to say it so I can stop trying to explain myself. I hope this doesn’t get too rambly. You have my apologies if it does.
I went off to college in 2000. I was depressed then but it didn’t really strike me how bad off I was until I realized one day while lying in my dorm room that I had been mentally preparing a note to my mother apologizing for my future actions. Something clicked and I went to my advisor’s office where I couldn’t even explain between sobs why I had to leave the campus as soon as possible. He called my mom and I was home before the end of the week. I’d like to think that after one visit to a therapist and a few weeks in my “norm” that the oppressive cloud of depression lifted and all was good. Instead I learned to mask really well. I got a job, brought a car, spent every weekend out. I lived to be contrary to just about every thought that said “girl just sit down and get through this”. Sitting still meant dealing with the fact that I wasn’t okay. At some point the pain that I was holding inside began to manifest as outside pain and I was eventually diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. I became conscious of my depression and I had to deal with it. I did in time but I know that it’s still a thing that can sneak up on me again so I’m hyper-aware of it.
Here’s where I have a problem: unless you know me personally; meaning you have had several conversations with me or you are a mental health professional YOU CANNOT TELL ME WHEN I’M DEPRESSED. My best friend knew before I did. I don’t know what she identified first but she knew. The rest of y’all don’t get to decide that I’m depressed because I’m a homebody. In fact, let’s stop the false equivalency that homebody=depression. It’s irritating and I’m tired of explaining it to people who want to be the first to say that I am depressed in hopes that their broken clock is right this time. I don’t need you to swoop in and save me from myself. If I decide I’d rather spend the night with a book or netflix and a glass of wine I assure you I’m okay.
Most of you didn’t know that I actually had a problem with depression until I told you. You probably just thought I was boring which is fine. Boring is also a thing that I’ve come to terms with. I’m just trying to live and I don’t need anyone trying to fix me. I’m not broken. Just let me have my glass of Syrah and the first two seasons of Hannibal. If it’s the one or two times during the year I want to go do something decidedly unboring I’ll let you know. My mental health though, that’s gonna be my business (unless of course I want to share with you).