Since my realisation that I suffer from depression, I’ve let it define me. I’ve let it consume my every inch of being, swallowing me and everything that makes me who I am, into a black hole. Even in times of lightness, it’s still there looming, playing on repeat in the background.
I had a conversation with my psychologist today about this concept of depression not defining me. Everything he said was right, “your depression doesn’t define you, it isn’t you. It’s a disease that makes you feel the way you feel, but it isn’t you”. This resonated so much with me as, like he said, I’ve always thought I was defective and treated myself that way. I’ve always thought that it’s somehow my fault that I feel the way I do and punished myself for it. But I am not defective. I’m a good person and I’ve had an incredible life. I just have a mental illness that has caused me to think and feel otherwise.
It’s not much different from a physical illness – you may have a physical illness, but it isn’t you, it’s just a part of your existence. I’m not saying that makes it any easier. It’s in no way easy to deal with, physical or mental. But the treatment is rehab, whether that is of your mind or body.
Now I know this, I am going to have to keep reminding myself of this and move forward with this trinket of knowledge in my pocket. Things like this I find incredibly helpful and I know it’s going to help me on my journey. I am going to focus on treating my depression, as somewhat separated from me as a person. Easier said than done, no doubt but I’ve got to give it a shot.
I’m going to treat my depression like the flu and I’m not going to give up until I feel better.