The trauma changed the way my brain was wired. Since then, I have gone through these cycles of depression. I call them my episodes actually. Because they come and go as they please. I used to never know when it was gonna happen and it wasn’t until this year that I realized it happens about every three months.
For about three months I will be on such a high. Filled with motivation, love, and positivity. I’ll be on top of my planner and reciting my mantras. In simple words, I’m just happy.
And then from one day to the next, I just fall. No rhyme or reason. It’s like a wave of negativity and hopelessness washes over my body. When I’m in these states of mind my brain will feel overwhelmed with the amount of negativity.
It’s like my brain runs on this budget of serotonin, and it spends without limits while I’m on my high. But as soon as my budget is completely depleted, I have nothing left. My mind and body have nothing left to feel, happy or sad.
Depression is not described by one word or feeling. Some days I feel claustrophobic by all the negativity in my head while others I feel nothing at all. I actually have several journal entries on these waves of depression. Here’s a couple of them:
I’m finally on my high again
I’m scared for when I will fall
But it feels good
When happiness takes over
-no poems just thoughts (and feelings)
My heart sinks when I hear them
Knocking on the door
In the back of my mind
Eager to see all that they’ve missed
And ready to take control of what they once let go of
A pain so numb
Not even the stars could heal her
Last year when I first noticed these cycles happening again, I just remember being scared for the fall. I remember anticipating how bad it would get, with no idea on how to control it or keep it from taking control of me.
I hadn’t had suicidal thoughts since my junior year, and when those thoughts started to resurface, was when I became scared for my life. And that is the moment I decided that I had had enough and I reached for help.
And of course, it was a battle getting to the point I am at now. But I’m here, and I am grateful every day that I do have this open relationship with my emotions.
I don’t conceal (or at least I try not to) my emotions.
If I need support I don’t waste time telling myself that it’s, “not that big of a deal”.
And I don’t belittle my emotions telling myself to get over it.
So it was much to my surprise that this morning, I woke up with that familiar pit in my stomach. I felt terrible. I felt useless. And ugly. I felt hopeless and unmotivated. And it was like those ugly voices in my head that tell me I’m no good were knocking on the door in the back of my mind. And honestly, I was scared.
I was scared that my high was finally coming to an end.
And I was about to enter another depressive episode.
Not knowing if it was going to last a few minutes, days, weeks, or months.
I felt so frustrated. Frustrated that no matter where I am at in life, these waves of depression are unpredictable.
It doesn’t ask politely to enter my mind nor does it care if it overstays it’s welcome.
I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much work I had put into my mental health, just to find myself in the exact same position as to where I started.
I felt ashamed to be feeling this way again. Going through those emotions I felt so exhausted of letting depression be a part of my life. I felt so confused about having a blog about mental health and trying to teach others how to handle the negativity yet there I was crying having absolutely no clue on how to help myself.
The biggest blessing I have opened myself up to is support. If it weren’t for the people who helped pull me out of depression in my last episode, I would have been afraid to ask for help today.
I am not saying I know what the future holds in regards to my depression scare (I know that sounds so dumb but I have no idea how to describe it otherwise) but I do know that I am not going to anticipate the fall. And instead, be grateful that I am okay in this moment. And if I become not okay. I know the coping mechanisms I have developed for myself won’t magically disappear and I know the people I surround myself with will be there to catch me.
I know that the episode, no matter how long or short it will last, it will come to an end. I know that no matter what happens this go around I will be okay. And knowing that I have come out of depression once before, gives me the peace of mind that I am strong enough to overcome it again.