Before I was diagnosed with anything, I was living a life of misery, self pity, suicide, alienation, despair. I was always emotional and sensitive. I was the crier and the “angry one”. People would ask me what was wrong with me and could not understand or would not believe me when I tried to tell them I didn’t understand what was going on myself.
Those moments when you bounce from happy to pissed to angry to depressed and back again in one day are exhausting and just as terrifying as an adult as they were when you were a child.
I knew that I made people angry and I would say things in those moments that I could never get back. I tried to talk myself down from those situations and turned to writing stories and poetry instead. That was a dark time in my life.
I am not saying that there were no good moments. I had a relatively happy childhood. Most of the time, the battle I was having was inside of me. I was making myself miserable.
In the last 12 years, I met the man of my dreams, married him, found my best friend for life in college, seen beautiful places, had three beautiful daughters, and accomplished my dream of publishing my first novel and then 4 more after that.
There have been so many good things happening to me, however, when you are depressed nothing else matters to you. Everything seems like it is a life or death situation and those simple task like combing your hair, brushing your teeth, taking a shower, putting on regular clothes and not pajamas seemed like running three marathons in a row.
Do you know what the worst thing you can say to a depressed person in this condition, in this mind frame, in this state?
“You’re just being lazy.”
My goodness. Those words can do so much damage.
Recently I had a discussion with my husband and I was telling him about how certain things made me feel and tried to get him to understand what it’s like to feel depressed and the difficulty all those mundane tasked seem to someone who is depressed.
I told him about my anxiety issues about being outside and how I feel contaminated if I am outside or in “nature” too long. I hate going to parks but I will suffer through it for my kids. If my kids are playing outside no matter how long, they must change immediately. I discussed with him the fact that because he is at work he doesn’t know that I change clothes at least three times a day and that when I wake up I change pajamas to lounge around in and then change into another pair to sleep in because I feel the others are contaminated.
After having this conversation he confesses something to me that I kinda knew anyway. He assumed that for years I was just lazy and lacked motivation to make something of myself. He felt that I was not living up to my potential because I was lazy.
I cannot begin to tell you how angry that makes me or how pissed off I was at that moment. This is ow he felt for 12 years?
Though, he is not the only one in my life that felt or feels that way.
My oldest daughter, when I explained to her about my social anxiety and how it keeps me sometimes from going places, asked me,
“Is that true or are you just too lazy to go?”
My entire life I have worked hard despite my depression and anxiety to graduate #5 in my class in high school, graduate college with a 3.5 GPA. I worked two jobs after college. I worked through college. I was married at 22 and planned and executed my own wedding.
While pregnant when I was 23, I moved with my husband, where we bought a house and I packed everything to move. Because we needed more money, I got another job that made more money with benefits. I adopted a child and gave birth to another. I worked the entire time with both of my pregnancies except for two weeks.
When my husband got a new job in California, I moved my husband, three kids and a cat across the country with as smooth of a tradition as I could. I have written and published 3 novels and 2 short story anthologies. I am also editing my 6th book in which I wrote in a month.
With all that being said, I am still a mom that cleans the house, does laundry, goes grocery shopping, keep the people and the cats in this house fed. I remember appointments for doctors, school events and dentists for everyone in the house (including the cats).
No I do not like going to parks. No I do not like being outside period. I’m terrified of everything except for domestic cats. My brain tells me when I go places alone that I will be raped or murdered or held in a dungeon. Yet I took a job as a health inspector where I had to face all that including going into strange people’s homes because my family needed me.
There were nights that I cried because I had to face that stuff the next day but I was there helping to provide for my kids.
I have been working constantly to improve myself and overcome my obstacles. I ran two 5k obstacle races because I wanted to face my anxiety and my fears so that I can be better and show my kids that staying active is a positive way to live.
It pisses me off to be called lazy.
I hate saying that I have a mental illness but the truth is this.
I have a mental illness that debilitates me sometimes but I received help so that I could be an even better and more efficient mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and writer.
I am not fucking lazy.