I have mentioned before that depression has been a constant in my life. As a child of nine I became aware of my sorrow. There have been good years, where depression stayed at the back of my mind, and there have been bad years where it encompassed my mind. The other night, I was washing dishes, thinking about the change epilepsy has made in my life this year. It is hard to believe it has been eight months because the vulnerability is still right there. How challenging it has been, despite my acceptance for others, to face the fact that I have become disabled. Then, with soapy hands, I admitted to myself, depression left me disabled long ago.
I can pass. I have been all along. There have been breakdowns, times when all that was in me could not be contained, but for the most part, I can pass as happy enough. It really is unacceptable for a girl of just nine years to be so stuck in sadness. I cannot put my finger on all the ways. I just knew to hide. A pattern was set in my life then, and I have continued to weave myself in ever since. I put on a smile. I denied so fiercely I believed it was genuine, until the night came, and I sat down alone in my room to cry it all out. Raise your hand, my depressed people. Raise your hand if you can pass.
There is no real way to draw the line between the heavy life events I've been handed, my emotional response to them, and what is biological in my brain. Time has a way of revealing the truth though. Had it been just the abuse and abandonment, I might have discovered my real smile by now. I should have because I have processed these events. I know they aren't my fault. I feel they aren't my fault. I have let as much as I possibly can go, and yet my depression stays. Sometimes it seems like sorrow is a friend. She's the only one who knows all of me. She's the only one who has been there all along. She tucks me into bed each night.
Just before my big seizure, most of this year ago, I went to my Doctor, to get help. I explained enough of my life that she prescribed me medicine for it. I have always been opposed to medicating my pain, at least with a Doctor's pharmaceutical, but it got that bad. I went home, popped the first pill, and I did not sleep for five nights. I was more than depressed after that. I was hallucinating. I threw the medicine down, for it made me only more sick. Ten days later, the seizure came. My new neurologist suggested I try again. He gave me something to stop the seizures and something else for depression. Unfortunately, I can't afford both. I took the one that was most likely to keep me alive.
I don't even know how to wrap this one up, how to make a happy ending with five simple paragraphs, but I refuse to pass just to settle your mind. My depression has disabled me. Held me back and down and in and out. I guess now that I have admitted that, I can begin to understand it, but I know already, it isn't likely to go away. Twenty five years of smiling through the pain has not changed my brain. My happiness rebellion only goes so far. Though depression is unacceptable in this world, I must be on my way to accepting it within my life. I am on my way to process the other side, and I know it's not my fault. I own it now, my depression.
Related reading: Are You NeuroQueer? from Elizabeth J. (Ibby) Grace