- Kathryn Patterson
An Honest Explanation About My Absence
Wow - this is a lot harder than I thought it would be. I am writing today to explain my sometimes strange - or sometimes nonexistent - posting schedule. I suffer from depression. No, I'm not talking about feeling blue for a few days or feeling a bit under the weather. But full-blown, colors all look gray, can't see the room I'm in, walk around like a badly handled puppet depression. I can't point to a day and say, "That's it! That's when my depression started" because honestly, I don't remember not living with depression. Even as a child, I suffered bouts of depression that got worse when puberty started, better when puberty ended, then worse again as I attempted to navigate life as an adult. Some days I'm fine, and I accomplish a lot of tasks. Some days I feel like I have a limit on how much emotional energy I have. And some days I struggle to get out of bed and get dressed. Not brush my teeth or take a shower or even face my face - those all take too much energy. Just. Get. Up. The current societal attitudes towards mental illness in general and depression in particular don't help the situation either. It's more acceptable to miss a meeting because you have a hangover that because you're depressed. It's easier to lie and say I don't feel well because of the latest virus/cold/fill-in-the-blank-disease that to admit that I suffer from depression. Because society doesn't really understand that people actually suffer. Depression stole so much from me:
It has stolen time from my family.
It's stolen pictures of my kids when they were younger.
It's stolen parts of my health.
It's stolen opportunities and might have beens from me.
It's stolen friendships with people I still care about.
It's stolen relationships with long distance family members. But I'll be damned before I let it steal my blog. I've spent six days working on this blog post, trying to figure out what I want to say and how to say it. How do I explain to people who have never lived through depression how hard the struggle is? How much I detest the phrase "snap out of it"? How much I don't want your pity, but your understanding? How much everyone you know who has depression needs your understanding? Anyway, I just want you to know what is happening on my end. I truly hope life is treating you well, and I will be posting more now because I have beat back depression, at least for now.