Being blue, or feeling depressed if I want to call it what it is, sucks. It really, really, really sucks. There’s no way around it. Thankfully I haven’t had an episode since right before I got married. (Let me say that’s a brilliant time to be depressed. When everyone you know expects everything to be all puppies and rainbows.) At that time, I’d feel completely overwhelmed by my feelings, as if I sinking down knowing I was drowning, but not being able to get my arms or legs to move to swim back up to the surface. The worst part about it is how isolating it is. It happens on the inside, so you look like your same old self to everyone who knows you. Nobody sees the deep, dark, black hole you’ve fallen into. The most crazy making part about it for me, was that it made me feel like I couldn’t trust myself. Depression lies to you, and after a while it’s hard to find the knotted-up thread of truth in the pitch black, cold hole you’re sitting in.
I also really struggled with the idea that something was wrong with me. No one else I know is sad for no reason, completely devoid of energy to even eat. Depressions is so often kept quiet or hidden away, as a dirty little secret. Part of what helped me recover was realizing I wasn’t alone, that depression happens. It happens to a lot of other wonderful women. That realization doesn’t make it any easier, but it at least helped me accept myself and my depression.
When I was sorting out the complicated mess of emotions that happens around a wedding and marriage, I found one – one single resource – that talked about the real stuff around weddings. A Practical Wedding. This life-saving (and I’m not being over dramatic here) blog discusses the hard stuff, the fun stuff, the stuff that it’s really actually about. Not the dress, not the details that cost thousands of dollars, but about the fact that you are creating a new family with your chosen partner. More specifically this blog saved me because it talked about what it’s like to grapple with marriage and anxiety or depression. And that it’s okay, it doesn’t mean you love your partner any less.
The fact that I read about more and more women being honest and sharing their battles against depression makes me feel like we’re moving in a really good direction. I’m so grateful that women like Dooce and The Bloggess are sharing their stories.
By no means am I glad that anyone has to face depression, it’s just heartening to feel like it’s possible to shine a light down into the holes we crawl in when we’re depressed. With this little flashlight lighting the way, it’s easier to realize you’re not alone, and have hope for healing. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.