The last couple of weeks has been hectic to say that least, what with my proposal presentation, attending a symposium for the first time and running a few experiments that still need to be tweaked. Work wasn’t the only thing keeping me busy, there was also the ever present and never fondly welcomed issue of slipping into depression.
I spent nearly a week toeing the line between feeling lonely and being alone. It wasn’t as though I shut myself off from the world, I still interacted with some people but they were simply in passing. Suffice to say I reached a point where I went and bought myself a tiny stuffed orca to hug. (She is called Cassandra and is awesome.) I guess I was feeling a bit touch-starved and scared of falling back on old habits from my depression days.
I still find it hard to believe that it’s going to be almost a year since I got diagnosed with clinical depression. And here I am today, off my meds for two months and piecing my life back together. Like I keep saying, I know my warning signs a lot better now. I know when to run away from a place or a person because I am slowly understanding my own worth as a human being and how to put myself first. I also know when to seek out someone to talk to and I am lucky to have found a support system both on twitter and real life.
A lot of people ask me why I choose to blog about my depression or why I don’t tend to shy away from confirming yes, I do have clinical depression. My reasoning is simple, it’s a part of me. My depression doesn’t define who I am as a person, but it does shape the kind of person I am. Not to mention, I am tired of the stigma we have about mental illness and I want to do my part to end it. But, that doesn’t mean everyone should have my approach because let’s face it, everyone has their own way of dealing and handling their mental health and asking them to do something they are not comfortable doing is a terrible burden to put on them.
I am not ashamed of my mental illness. That doesn’t mean I treat it like a badge of honor as well though. I treat my mental illness as I treat my migraine or the hairline fracture on the side of my hand; they are all parts of me.
If you feel like talking to someone, my ears are always here (attached to my head… hopefully).