The past week my college held a small health fair thingie where students could get flu shots (done!), free chair massages (thankyouthankyouthankyou), get you blood pressure taken (still as low as ever, roughly 117/70 or so), get checked for oral cancer (yeah, thanks but no, cancer will get me soon enough. Don't judge, I still have issues), and get screened for depression. I went for two reasons.
One to get a flu shot. The other for extra credit for one class. In order to get the extra credit, I had to get the depression screening.
Frankly, I knew it would be a waste of time.
No, not for what you're thinking.
I've been dealing with depression for about half my life. I already know I'm depressed. I don't need some ticky boxes telling me that I am.
This is something that I deal with every.
Fucking. Day. No relief. No vacation. No telling myself that I get to have a break. I can't turn it off. I can't just 'be happy'. That would be like...telling Mt. Pinitubo not to blow. Okay?
I can't. Not won't. Can't. If you're old enough, you'll remember the this is your brain on drugs commercials from the 80's. If not, I bet they're on YouTube. Want to see what a brain with depression looks like? Go here.
Depression is real. You can't touch it. But it's there. And I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
I've never been suicidal. Even at my lowest. And I've been pretty low. At my lowest, I get the extreme urge to gather my kid, what little I can grab, get the car, and drive until I run out of money and gas. Then start over.
Because everything I touch falls apart. Turns to shit. I'm worthless. No good. I can't do anything right. The list goes on and on.
It's loud, like acid. Yelling in my ear. And the voices yelling? They're right. So why try?
Depression is me and countless others trying to struggle while others think we're lazy. Or making crap up. Yeah, not so much. My brain doesn't work like yours, or maybe it does. The chemicals may not be in balance along with come really crappy thinking and learned behavior.
But by telling me it's my fault? You're adding to the pile. Don't shove me down. Help me up.
I've learned that showing my weaknesses out in the so-called real world just leads to nothing but pain and heartache for me. So I don't. I hide my nice, soft, squishy insides under a hard layer of sarcasm.
Most probably wouldn't realize that I struggle with depression unless I laid it out point-by-point to them. And that's both hurtful and sad. I shouldn't have to do that. I'm hurting myself. I can't get the help I need to dig myself out of the Pit of Despair.
But I get so tired of people telling me to suck it up.
Sorry folks, that only works for so long.