Which is to say, of course, that I suffer from depression (and other, largely undiagnosed neuroses, I'm sure). It fucking sucks, to put it bluntly.
When I was a teenager, I spent the majority of my time sleeping, because that was all I was capable of. I'd have awful temper tantrums when I was a child, and I learnt to suppress these. Unfortunately, the anger and grief still needed an outlet.
I was suicidal. I would cut. Not with knives, because I feared getting caught, but I would scratch myself until I bled, usually in the shower. Luckily, I have few lasting physical scars, so no one would really know unless I told them.
Now you know.
As an adult, it's been better. There was a period there, when I was surrounded by toxic people who were horrible humans, where it got worse and the suicidal ideation returned. They've been out of my life for many years now, and it got better. It returned only once since I've turned thirty, and relatively recently, but by then I knew what was going on. It was old hat. I knew the tactics of the bully and so could recognise them by name when they happened, and I was able to remove myself both from the suicidal spiral, and the bully.
I have been diagnosed. I have also refused medication. I'm really, really, really fucking fortunate that mine is not severe enough (any more. How I survived into adulthood I'll never know) for me to warrant taking medication. I'm also really leery of the side-effects of these drugs and, since my mind - my imagination - is the most precious thing I have, I don't want to go around messing with it. I'd rather face the dark days than fuck it up entirely.
This is by no means a snub to those who do elect to take medication. You can't understand until you've been there, but trust me when I tell you that medication is often extremely necessary. If I was less stubborn and more sensible, I would be taking medication. As it is, I've found alternate methods (and that took a few visits to a therapist and some serious discussions with professionals in the field).
But here's the thing about depression, it doesn't ever really go away. Even on the good days, it's kind of just there. Lurking. It can sneak up at the strangest moments.
Yesterday was a good day. It sunny and cool - great walking weather - and I had been productive. But, despite the sunshine and the birdsong, I hit a depressive spiral on the walk home. It was sudden, and it was devastating. It takes me over an hour to walk home. By the time I arrived, all I wanted was disappear; make it so I wasn't around, just make it stop...
I call these moments my 'spirals.' Usually, I'm pretty good about fighting depression back. I catch the sneaky fucker and stop it before it gets rolling. Yesterday, my vigilance slipped a little, and then... well... It sort of swallowed me whole.
Don't worry. I know what it is. I know how to handle it. I know it will pass. I can fight my way out of this. I've done it before.
So, that's where I am today. I'm telling you because I think it's really important to be open about mental illness. If you're suffering, know you're not alone. There are options. Talk to someone. And most importantly, I hope you can see that there is hope. There will be light again.
Keep going. We'll be waiting for you.
Sending you all much love. I have work to do now.