Although I wasn’t officially diagnosed with depression until 1998, I think I’ve had it most of my life.
For years, I’ve been on a variety of anti-depression, anti-anxiety medication to even out the chemical imbalance in my brain. Because that’s all depression is. And yet there’s such a stigma attached to it.
I don’t think I really understood the gravity of living with depression until my marriage started falling apart in 2005. As I’d spent a lot of my life being pessimistic and often expecting the worst to happen, perhaps I self-prophesized. I didn’t understand how I could be depressed, to the point of considering suicide as a viable option, when I was already taking anti-depressants.
In hindsight, the end of my marriage was one of the best things that happened to me. Living in the spiraling hell that is depression made me realize that I couldn’t afford to go down that pessimistic path again. It forced me to accept life as it was and to let the unexpected or undesirable things that happened to bounce off me. After being hurt so deeply by so much, nothing could hurt me.
Jump forward to 2012 and I admit that it took me a few months to realize I was falling into a similar spiral looking for work and dealing with the overwhelming issues of meeting my basic needs. I struggled with it, however, because I felt like I’d already experienced a devastating trauma which took me years to come to terms with.
Much of my self-worth comes from being able to financially provide for myself and my daughter, so it’s hardly surprising that I’d plummet back into a paralyzing depression. From not working to not being able to find work to having to rely on my parents and the measly amount from income assistance to filing for bankruptcy and now PWD, my becoming completely unravelled makes perfect sense.