I launched my blog over a week ago but had not publicized it until today. Even now I am full of doubt about whether I should be doing this, whether I should REALLY go public and let it all hang out with this blog. I’ve been getting tangled up in worry and fear about what my friends, colleagues, and family will think.
It’s not that people don’t know I struggle with depression. Many people in my life know but very few know the whole story — what depression really means. The scariest part is letting them in on my secret, that suicide thoughts are still present in my life. I understand the concern, my friends and family love me and don’t want me to die.
I’ve had depression at some level constantly since I was 7, but never suicide thoughts. Before these thoughts arrived in June 2014, I thought suicide thoughts were transient, that people had them when they were unwell, and then once they got better the thoughts stopped. I now know that sometimes they don’t go away. I’ve met many people in my latest depression sojourn who are in the same boat as I am. I can even have the thoughts pop into my head when I’m having a perfectly fine day. It’s pretty nuts.
For me, talking about the suicide thoughts is the hardest part. They are the elephant in the room. I like to think I’m not ashamed of having depression and these thoughts. But really I am. The disease tells me I’m selfish to be so focused on my mental state, that I just need to grow up. I forget that I am strong and start to believe the voices that tell I am weak. I’m ashamed when I have to report to my psychiatrist that I’m STILL having suicide thoughts after so many medication and lifestyle changes. I tell myself these thoughts are not my fault, but often don’t believe it. I feel like a disappointment to everyone who wants me to get better, like somehow I’m not trying hard enough. I have an amazing life, so shame on me. The shame spiral continues.
My path is to be at ease with my depression and my thoughts, to find the lessons they are teaching me. There are many, and as a writer I document. This blog provides me a place to share what I am learning. My plan is to make this blog a resource for others, and do it in a way that’s personal and relatable. My experience is that a lot of people do not understand what depression feels like, they can’t even imagine what it’s like. I’d like to try and explain. I also plan to write about things that have helped me, like yoga, mindfulness, and medication, and write reviews of the different books I’ve read and mobile apps I’ve used. Who knows what else I’ll come up with to write about along the way?
My intention for this blog is to reach fellow sufferers and educate non-sufferers, so as to provide a healing outlet for myself and hopefully help others in the process. So away we go! I’ve publically announced this blog and have many partially written articles in the queue. I’ll breathe deep each day and trust in my honesty and hope it’ll make a difference.