I don’t know exactly when it happened. But it did. All of a sudden this stigma that enveloped mental illness before faltered. All of a sudden it’s okay to say “I’m depressed”. It’s okay to say “I suffer from depression”. It’s okay to say “I’m on antidepressants”.
But is it for the better? It’s a bit ‘bittersweet’ in the end. If that’s even an appropriate analogy. Perhaps. Perhaps not.
I mean, it’s okay to admit one’s depression. But it’s not like one would say “I’m schizophrenic”, “I suffer from bipolarism”, “I have borderline personality disorder”. Disorders such as these continue to fall under the ‘best be kept secret’ category.
It would seem to be one step forward, two steps back. But I kind of think that I see it as three steps back. One may be able to admit to being depressed, but more so as an excuse. At least from what I hear around me. What I see around the world. What I witness in society.
“I’m allowed to go weeks without being bothered to have a shower. It’s called depression”.. “I’m late for work because I’m depressed so I should be allowed to schedule doctors appointments at any time in the day, and also miss work, because I’m depressed (because my doctor is all too willing to sign off on my depression), so you can’t really say anything about it (nor can you complain about it)”.. Being depressed has gone from being a stigma, to becoming a norm.
Yet for however far we’ve come, one can now utter the words, yet another cannot make comment, nor do anything about it..
“You haven’t left the house in days, why don’t you at least take a few fresh breathes outside the window?”.. “I’m depressed. This is what people do when they’re depressed. They do nothing”.. and there’s the conversation-ender.. What can one say after those words are uttered.. “no you’re not”.. a shit-covered tonne of bricks would come hailing down on you.. Because that can simply not be said. Albeit with good reason.
Depression isn’t something that can be quantified. It cannot be a blanket-cover of certain symptoms.. so it can readily not be questioned.
This is good, especially during this pandemic that we’ve got going on, which can surely take a mental toll on anyone, and everyone, despite if one has had the condition long-term, or short-term.
Here’s the crux with me though.. through all my many years of depression, I have not, ’til this day, readily said “I’m depressed “, not in any sense of the word.
It’s simply something I cannot admit to, however accurate it may be.. Fair enough, some people are just more open and out there than others. And just because I’ve had depression (well, suffered from depression, because it really is suffering.. so suffering.. so suffocating) for so long, doesn’t make me an all-knowing expert on the matter, nor can I judge anyone else on the matter.. or any matter really.. I guess what I’m trying to say (in a very roundabout manner), is that during all these years of various individuals’ (especially family) hurling this (category-defining) word at me, from all angles, I just never admitted to it.. I never accepted it.
For however accurate it may have been.. I just couldn’t say it. I mean I’m choosing to stay completely anonymous on this website.. I (still) just can’t bring myself to showing anyone who this person behind this blackened veil is..
The only way I have ever been able to acknowledge my depression (which took a lot out of me).. is by doing so in secret.. like a whisper.. detaching myself from the word entirely.. somewhat observing it from a third-person perspective.. looking down at the person writing these words, and sharing it with the few people that find their way to this website.
I have been saying and saying that I want to (and will) finish this app that I have envisioned.. but actually doing fuck-all about it.. empty promises.. all talk and no follow-through..
I’ve been avoiding even looking at this website due to a sense of failure.. kind of a “look what I started.. and never finished” feeling.. a whole other kind of (added) anxiety just takes over me, just thinking about it..
Trying a different approach.. going back to the fundamentals, and the primary reason for creating this website.. strip it of all the unimportant sections.. the blogs.. the articles.. just cutting all that out.
I may add some new passages on pages when I have a specific thought that I just want to (need to) get off my chest.. no Instagram.. no Facebook.. Just us. Here.
Our anonymous hidden sanctuary. With an equally anonymous app. I think I’m ready for this second phase..