Oh here we go again, always talking about mental health on here, aren't I? Well, the thing is - that's not going to stop anytime soon. It's a huge part of my life - a huge part of my life that still comes with a gigantic stigma, and it's one of the things that I wish this tiny little blog could have even the smallest impact on. Katy talked about the ridiculous things that people say when you have depression over on her blog earlier this week, and I can relate. For an illness that affects more of my friends than I care to think about - the fact is, too many people still think of depression as "just being a bit sad".
My depression is an aching sadness, it is also me writing this from my bed when me and Katy should have been out shopping - but instead she's had to lie for hours rubbing my back as I can't get rid of the cycle in my head that tells me I'm ugly/useless/bad girlfriend/burden/nobody likes me. It is a sadness and it's also me being too scared to sleep for nights on end, because people might need me or bad things might happen or I'm sick of nightmares. Depression is sadness, and it's also my inability to get out of bed in the morning because my body feels too heavy, or it taking twenty minutes to brush my teeth, or not washing my hair for days on end because I only do it if I'm going somewhere people will actually see me, or me cringing when it's sunny because that means I'll probably have to leave the house. Depression is sadness and it's also an inability to live a life that is fair, and happy, and well deserved.
Depression is like everybody else around you running a marathon, only somebody put lead in your shoes and nobody can work out why you tire quicker, struggle more, can't face running any longer. It is an illness, not an inconvenience - it takes over lives and, no matter what we call the deaths that occur as a result, people die from it. We need to talk about it more, during this week and in all the weeks that come afterwards - it is an illness in the same way that an infection is; it doesn't go away overnight, and treatment may take a long time and have unforeseen complications.
Depression is not something that I asked for, it's not cute or quirky - it's horrible. It's feeling like I don't know how I'm going to get through hour to hour, never mind day to day or beyond. Depression is not just a huge part of my life, it's overshadowed the life that I had before - and I won't sit down and stop talking about it because it makes other people uncomfortable; that's the reason I'm going to keep talking until I'm blue in the face.
You can see more about depression and Depression Awareness Week here.