Today I was asked the following question by a mental health professional: Do you want to get better? I was not so quick to answer. I took a few moments to consider the question before I shrugged my shoulders….I don’t know.
The honest truth is that I don’t know if I want to get better. I don’t know whether I would survive being well. You see, a part of me does want to get better but the other part of me cannot imagine life without depression. I cannot imagine being free from this illness that has lived inside me for eight years. Depression has lived in me for so long that I feel that if it was not there then I would not be me. I feel that a part of me would disappear. My identity would change. The thought of living life without depression scares me. Depression is my safety net. Depression is my excuse, my reason when things go wrong. Oh, today was such a bad day……I won’t be able to make it tonight I am tired. I hate that I use it as an excuse and if anyone ever brought that up in conversation I would tell them they are wrong.
Depression is a horrible illness to live with. It drains you physically and emotionally. It forces you to sleep for longer than you need. It takes away your appetite and destroys compliments that are given to you. It makes you cry for no apparent reason.
So you may be thinking why would you want to live with that? Well the answer is that I am used to it. It is my life and I am surviving. Despite everything depression does to me I am still here. I am alive. And that is all that matters right?