I stopped writing for a while. I got tired of making everything look nice and neat and pretty. Some people love that, but what I really love is writing. Nothing else. So, let this blog look unprofessional, amateur. I just want to write.
Yesterday, a leader at my job talked to us about National Depression Screening Day, which was on October 6th. She did something really brave. She shared that she dealt with depression. She stood up in front of us all and freely spoke about it. She didn't have to. But the support meant a lot to me.
We already know there's a stigma around mental health and mental illnesses; that's nothing new. But it's still there. If you take a day off because you're physically sick, it's automatically accepted. But one day I called off from work because I mentally could not cope with sitting there and acting normal. I of course just told them I "wasn't feeling well" and let them believe I had a cold or something. It was true, I wasn't feeling well. But it was emotionally. And I felt guilty about calling off, as if it wasn't legitimate.
So, I know it doesn't have as much of an impact, saying it online, because lots of people are brave enough to say anything online. But it needs to be said anyway:
I deal with depression and anxiety. It's an ongoing, off-and-on issue and I deal with it. Some days better than others.
I needed to say it because the instinct is to hide it, to pretend you're okay. But for the millions of other people out there that aren't okay, they need to know they're not alone. So this is one form of support you have, if you're one of those people and reading this. I can be there for you. Because I've dealt with it too.
I know what it feels like to be a prisoner in your own mind, to be haunted by your own thoughts.
At night the monsters come out to torture me.
My monsters are ghosts but their effects are very real. They are thoughts, but the thoughts have twisted their way out of my brain and run loose in my body. They saw at my stomach, slice it into pieces. They scrape away the outside of my intestines. They fill my heart with coals until it stretches fit to burst and then they light the coals on fire. Then they sleekly slide back into my mind and quietly, keenly observe the shackles I have placed upon myself and the destruction that ensues. They watch my soul get eaten away like acid, except I don't die from it, I remain acutely conscious of the smoking, rotting aftermath.
My thoughts haunt me like ghosts and torture me like I am a spy caught by the enemy. I would like nothing more than to feel nothing, to sink into an abyss of numbing blue, and it is only then that my monsters curl up around my heart like a cat, lulling me into a false sense of the quiet after a storm.
I know what it's like when your mind is your greatest enemy. I don't know your story, and you don't know mine, but I just let you know you're not alone.