I am not crazy! Well, I did think at one point I was or was on the edge of going crazy. I have struggled with depression and feeling “sad” on and off my entire life; but the past few months was far worse than the past 30 past years. I could wake up, make it to work and fake a smile and cheerful hello but that is where normal function would end (if you could call it that).
I was constantly paranoid people were talking about me behind my back at work and developed a huge chip on my shoulder. I was so bad about how I thought people perceived me I even tried owning the “bitch” title. Reality was though I wasn’t and not very good at faking it either. I spent far more times than I could count crying in the bathroom, shower, my car or any other far away place I could find trying to hide the pain of thinking everyone hated me.
Now lets talk about negative thoughts and those driving you crazy! Self esteem is out the window, now toss in chronic depression and anxiety (that I didn’t know I had) and you have a entire new ball game. Imagine driving home from work and you can’t do anything but sob hysterically the entire way and have no idea why you can’t stop crying. Or we can talk about the inability physically to get off the couch or get out of bed, barely even having the energy to eat or shower. Or even better is the continuing thoughts that the world is better off without you because you are such a bad person and never ever being able to find joy in life or yourself makes you feel like you are drowning in a dark black hole. When everyone around you keeps telling you to “snap out of it” or “look on the bright side” only makes you feel more crazy and depressed. If you could “snap out of it” you and not knowing why you can’t is insane! At least I thought it was.
I could keep going on but there is plenty of time for that. I wish I knew what I was suffering from or going through but I had no words. I understood, or so I thought, what depression was but unless you are going though it…… really going through that dark and paralyzing moment you never really understand. I really thought I was losing my mind and going crazy.
Then the diagnosis; ugh! I really was crazy, or at least I thought I was. You see there is a stigma and stereotype that goes with mental illness. We all have our own personal ideas was mental illness is. Mine was that crazy woman in a moment of manic episodes breaking apart her house or laughing hysterically while she burns downs a building. Then there is he crazy man that shoots up a movie theater or less dramatic homeless man talking to himself standing on the corner.
What I’m learning and living is much different and less “crazy” as what is considered mental illness. Yes I have chronic depression, yes there is a lot of coping and process that goes along with learning how to live happily with it, and yes I have to take medication. But here is a big secret: I don’t hear voices, I don’t want to hurt nor wold I hurt anyone or even a spider, I don’t have manic episodes nor would I fight with or destroy anything. I’m not crazy. Just a normal woman dealing with a chemical imbalance trying to live a normal life like the rest of the 5.5 billion people in the world who also suffer with some form of depression or bipolar.
So lets stop with the crazy stereotypes and start learning what this really is; normal people who need just a little extra help and support dealing with the occasional moments of depression and bad times.