It Comes And It Goes, And I Don't Know Why
I mean, yeah, sure, I know that it's because of "chemicals in my brain." And yeah, sure, I know that it's often triggered by events in my life. So yeah, sure, I guess I do "know why."
Except I don't.
I know, I know, I'm not making any sense! Am I making any sense? No.
I don't know what I'm trying to say. I guess it's just...my depression is like a wave. It comes, it overpowers me and suffocates me and I think I'm drowning in it. And then, just like *that*, it pulls away, leaving me straggled on the beach, aching for a breath of fresh air.
Just when I think I'm in the clear, it comes again, pulling me under once more.
It comes and it goes, and I don't know why.
I don't know why Saturday night a picture of a cute celebrity with a beautiful celebrity made me rage with jealousy. I don't know why that jealousy turned into sorrow. I don't know why that sorrow morphed into something so ugly I was lying in bed, sobbing, wondering whether tomorrow would be worth it.
I've seen pictures of those same two celebrities together for ages. And yes, I'm irrationally in love with the cute one (he's a really good writer, okay!) and pretty sure he's rationally in love with the beautiful one (she's redhead goals, okay!), but for more than a year I've just shrugged and rolled my eyes at my own celebrity crush.
On Saturday, though, I broke down completely. I lost my ever-loving mind. I was in tatters. I wrote a blog post about the experience and it was raw and unfiltered and it somehow managed to bring me back to my senses.
I don't know why Saturday's episode started, and I don't know why it ended, because sometimes what triggered me then isn't a trigger; and sometimes what soothed me then actually makes things worse.
It's confusing. I know it's confusing to people who don't live with mental illness, but it's confusing to me, too. Even I don't always understand what's going on in my head. Sometimes I don't even know how to describe my feelings, much less why they're there or what it means.
In just over a week, I get to see a psychiatrist for the first time since before leaving New York. Hopefully she'll recommend a counselor that I can visit regularly. I am...beyond-words excited for this visit. I am stoked to get back on track with taking care of my mental health. I'm excited to spend at least an hour a week just talking about everything in my head, and having someone help me parse through the answers. Or give me some when I need that, too.
The past three months have been hard.
Here's the thing about being mentally ill: you're just as sick in Italy as you are in America. You're just as sick on vacation as you are at work. You're just as sick when everything is going right as when everything is going wrong. Yes, because it's a mental thing, where you are, what you're doing and what's happening in your life can affect you. But that's true for physical illness as well! If you have a stomach bug and gorge yourself on mac and cheese and bacon, things will get worse. You'll spend the night puking in the toilet and wishing yourself dead. Yes, that's a graphic image. Don't eat mac and cheese and bacon when you have a stomach bug! (This has been a PSA.)
It's nature and nurture when it comes to mental illness. Yes, there is something physically (nature) wrong with my brain; at the same time, there are things in my circumstances, today and in the past (nurture) that can aggravate it.
So many times, people think that it will be helpful to ask why I'm depressed and how it can be fixed. I so appreciate the thought behind those questions! I love that people want to help me, that they care enough to want to take it upon themselves to make it better.
But those questions also stress me out, because the truth is, I don't know the answers, often, to either of them. It's a mystery.
For so much of our history, mental health wasn't something that was taken seriously. It was misunderstood and it's only recently that people have taken the time to get to know it Doctors are still studying and figuring the mind out. I hope that my writing openly about what I go through can add to help, because it's an inside look at a depressed mind. But I think sometimes people mistake my writing for knowing the answers, and I just want to say: I don't always have them. I'm sorry. But I don't.
I know it's frustrating; you want to help. But the answer, from my heart: I don't know why it came; I don't know how to fix it; please just love me.