It took me a long time to understand that I had depression. For at least 18 months I passed it off as circumstance. University wasn’t what I expected and then the job I took upon graduating wasn’t for me either and other parts of my life were equally stressful and unsatisfying. So I blamed my situation.
But eventually I had to accept that there was more to it than that. I didn’t put a name to it exactly but I knew that something more than being disgruntled was causing the lack of energy, the low mood, the over-eating and the crying. I remember I was in pain all the time, physical pain in the neck and shoulders, constant headaches. I remember my mood would swing dramatically so I would be crying uncontrollably after a morning of complete normality and then, once the red eyes were blue again, back to calmness.
And then one day the pain in my neck, which had been constant for months at that point, had gone. It was June. I remember sitting in the flat I was living in in the school I worked at and realising that I felt lighter and I thought I’m cured.
Of course that was just the start. That “cure” lasted 6 months or so, maybe a little longer. The second batch of depression was milder and I still didn’t fully accept or understand. It has been with this lengthy final batch that I have been forced to confront and name what is wrong with me.
Now I feel a little lighter again. It isn’t as sudden as that time all those years ago when I woke up one morning pain-free and flooded with “normality” and I have no idea how long this will last. I have to make the most of it while I can. Maybe it will be months of lightness or maybe the weight will invade tomorrow. It’s hard to stay optimistic with the memory of the darkness still so close to the surface but I’m trying. After losing so many battles, this feels like one I have to win.