I don't really want to write this post, but I know that my desire to avoid it means I should probably dive in.
I'm not sure how vocal I've been this year about the subject of depression, but I have been coming out of the shadows about it and that's rantier than I've ever been.
Primarily I've done this by retweeting things others have said about depression, whether it's someone like Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. The Bloggess) talking about her personal struggles or random people urging depressed people to seek support from family, friends, and professionals. Robin Williams' death in August deeply affected me, as it did people worldwide. I still can't believe he's gone. I still want so desperately to have been able to help him somehow.
It's taken some courage to discuss depression. Even suggesting, via retweets, that I live with it is hard for me to do. It's not that I have a problem admitting I'm fallible. I have an issue with admitting that fallibility to someone in my life I care about deeply. Someone who seems to treat personal issues like overeating as a simple case of willpower (the lack thereof, that is). That same someone claims to have cured him/herself of migraines by deciding not to get them anymore.
So I don't even bring up the idea of depression with that person. I know that isn't the healthiest approach, but if said person intimated that I just needed to buck up and choose happiness when things are bleak, I would become very stabby very quickly. (I'm not shilling for The Bloggess, but c'mon. This shirt.)
Thankfully, there are several other people in my life with whom I can be much more open. In some cases, it's because those people also struggle and I can talk about issues related to depression without feeling like a freak with a big 'mental illness' label slapped on my forehead. Dropping the pretense of being okay all the time is a big change for me. Maybe it has something to do with turning 40 last year. Maybe it was the texts I'd get from concerned friends who hadn't heard from me in a few days. Maybe I was just tired of pretending everything was always fine.
The good news is that I'm getting better about recognizing my triggers, which help me tamp down the soul-suck that has consumed me in the past. I journal. (Uh, sometimes.) I've started reaching out to friends a lot more. (If you haven't gotten a text suggesting we get together for coffee or Skype sometime, it's probably just because we haven't met and exchanged numbers yet.) I resumed seeing a great therapist. I'm writing this post and I'm even going to publish it. Those aren't things I could have laid claim to a few months ago.