I wrote this poem early this morning, right when I woke up. I actually wrote a longer version, but I love taking short and sweet sentences out of longer poems. Sometimes less is more. Although, maybe I shouldn’t refer to a poem about my depression being sweet. But, that’s exactly what I was writing about. How depression, for myself and I’m sure many others, is comfortable. I know the feeling well, how I react to it, how I live with it. How simple it can seem.
I get overwhelmed with my anxiety, when something triggering happening or is coming up. Like, the one year anniversary of the beginning of the worst and hardest year of my life. And anxiety and depression go hand in hand with me. I always have anxiety, and I can easily live with that. I can manage it. But, when she gets bad, she calls in her bff for assistance. Depression comes strolling along, thinking she can help. Then, with the both of them filling my brain with toxic thoughts and expectations, I can no longer manage it.
At the first sign of depression popping back into my daily life, I think I’ll be okay. I’ll meditate an extra 10 minutes, I won’t skip any yoga classes this week, I’ll eat healthy to keep my wellbeing up! I’ll be fine! But, depression is easy and somehow so beautiful once you’ve been there for so long. She draws you in with the comfy naps twice a day, the tears that feel so good to let out for hours every night, the under eye bags that society connects to hard work and some kind of dedication. At college, we compete for who has it worse. “Omg, I only got 3 hours of sleep last night, I look awful! Did you stay up studying and binge watching Netflix, too? ” Society lets us be depressed, it’s glamorized. And depression knows it, she takes advantage of it. So, when I start to feel depressed again, for whatever reason, a part of me wants to let it happen. Some sick part of me wants to sink back into the dark parts of my brain. Twitter won’t mind my tweets being more emotional than usual. My friends will just tell me to keep my head up, but not think twice about it. I’ll convince myself that it’s okay, because the world around me says so. Because being happy is harder than be depressed. Being truly happy isn’t normal, it hasn’t been in my daily, weekly, or monthly routine in awhile. It doesn’t always last. Depression is always there for you when you let it be. The routine is easy. Bed, eat if you can, cry, sleep a little, and repeat. Being social is harder than staying in bed all day. Staying connected with friends is harder when you don’t even trust that they like you all the time. Listening to the negativity your brain tells you is harder than fighting it. If my brain tells me I’m worthless, why shouldn’t I believe it? If my brain tells me I should cry and watch sad movies all day, why shouldn’t I listen?
But, then I remember. Even though being happy takes more work, it feels so good. Letting the sunshine pour into my soul, feels good. Spending time with my friends and boyfriend, feels good. Getting up early, working out, and taking care of myself, feels good. It’s hard. I have to set multiple alarms, I have to try new work outs until I find one that I love, I have to force myself to set up a girls night. All the effort is worth it, though. Being happy, begins to be my routine. Bragging about getting 9 hours of sleep and the sunshine I feel in my belly is so much more fulfilling and feels way more natural than bragging about my under eyes and insecurities.
My relationship with depression will always be complicated. I’m not sure it will ever end. I’m okay with that. I can slip every now and then, and have a long evening date with depression every once in a while. As long as I hold on tightly to the feeling of happiness. The feeling that truly lights my soul on fire. The feeling that puts a smile on my face every morning rather than the one that pushes tears out of my eyes every night.
If you ever feel yourself slipping, ask yourself, what makes me feel good? I guarantee the answer will never be “depression makes me feel good!!” No matter how glamorized it is. Your answer will be… yoga, horse back riding, gardening, eating pasta, dancing, drawing, writing, etc. Do those things!! Feel good! I know you want to. I’m always here if you need a little help. You will be okay, you’re stronger than any struggles you are going through.