I am a liar.
I lie about a lot of things. Mostly when someone asks if I’m okay I’ll lie and say I’m fine or good or great. They don’t really care. They’ve got a lot more things in their lives to worry about than me feeling sad. But then again I’m a liar.
They probably do care. And they probably care a lot. They don’t probably care. They do care. And they do care a lot.
Which makes it so hard to say anything. Because I don’t want to burden people. Everyone already has their own stuff to deal with, their own every day struggles, who am I to add to those? Who am I to unload all of my problems onto them and expect them to carry their own problems and carry mine?
I’ve brushed off a lot of things and worries with a well timed “I’m good.” Say anything cheerily enough people will believe you. Or at least that’s what I’ve told myself.
Told you I’m a liar.
The truth is 2019 was an incredibly rough year for me. The truth is it had probably been building up for many years and last year was just the final straw. I literally couldn’t do it any more. I couldn’t keep being bright and cheery and carefree because it was all too much, it was all too dark and heavy and lonely. I couldn’t keep pushing feelings away, couldn’t keep stuffing them down. I was full and overflowing with everything I had tried to keep down for so long.
So yeah, this might be hard to write, hard to read, even harder to make it publicly known. But I think it is also important. It’s important to know that everyone struggles. That everyone is hiding something and maybe if I stop lying about this one thing, maybe it will help someone else. Even if it’s just one someone.
It started in January 2019, well it probably started before that. I spent an entire year trying to keep it at bay, trying not to tell anyone, trying not to let anyone see. And that’s fucking hard. So incredibly hard.
It’s harder to say you are struggling. People who have asked for help are incredibly brave. To make one step forward and to be that uncomfortable is so, so brave. Asking for help is courageous. It took me months, maybe even years, before I could work up the courage.
I had some really dark, horrible days. Days I just couldn’t get out of my own head, days where everything felt too heavy and exhausting. Endless days spent watching Netflix but not even caring what I was watching. I was just using it as background noise trying to drown out the thoughts in my head. Trying to keep myself busy enough until it was time to go to sleep again.
So many days I kept waking up and didn’t want to get out of bed, didn’t want to get through the day. So many days I didn’t care what happened, just wanted, needed, to get through it.
I didn’t want to admit it. I was lying to myself again. I kept telling myself I was fine. That I could get through this. That it was just a phase or a bad day or week and things would be different the next day.
But I kept waking up and not wanting to get out of bed. I kept waking up and was already tired before I tossed off the covers. I was tired and already wanted to go back to sleep.
I’d find ways to cope, terrible ways to keep my mind occupied on something other than the thoughts in my head. I’d eat sleeves of Ritz crackers, bowls and bowls of ice cream, all the snacks, all the brownies and chocolate and candy I could get my hands on. Or I’d drown my self in beer. I told myself that I don’t do it every day, or it’s just because we’re going out or it’s been a horrible week so why not drink 4 or more beers.
Or sometimes it’d be not eating because nothing looked good and nothing felt good. And I could lie to myself and say that I felt empty because I hadn’t eaten, not because I actually was.
I’d cope with buying too many things. Too much food, silly toys I didn’t need, too many gifts that people didn’t need. I’d buy books I’d never read. I’d lie and say that with the right book I’d feel better, that the right book will inspire my love for reading again. It didn’t work.
Lying to yourself never really works.
Even after days of crying into Dan’s shirt, being unable to get off the couch I couldn’t stop lying. I just kept telling myself that I was fine, that it wasn’t bad enough, that I’d feel better the next day. I canceled so many plans, on my friends, on my family, on my brother blaming it on being tired or sick. I still couldn’t tell myself the truth. I didn’t want to admit it to myself.
That big scary word. The one with so many attachments around it, so many stigmas and horrible mindsets around it.
Maybe I just wasn’t bad enough. Maybe I just wanted to keep lying to myself.
I felt like I had no purpose. Like there was nothing in life that could get me out of bed. I’d spend entire nights lying awake, anxious and nervous and unable to quiet my mind. I’d spin into long scenarios that would never happen, or my mind would just spin and spin and spin unable to even land on a single thought. It got to the point where it didn’t matter if I slept 8 hours or 2; I’d wake up just as exhausted. This was a tiredness no amount of coffee could help.
It was hard to shower and eat properly and fold laundry and put dishes away and take Benny for a walk. Sometimes it was hard to stop eating and stop stress cleaning.
Some days everything felt too much and too heavy. Too much like the world was dependent on me. Me to do everything, dishes, laundry, take care of the house, make dinner, make coffee, wrap gifts, find gifts for everyone, make everyone happy, don’t argue, don’t disagree, just go with the flow and be happy.
Most importantly, it felt like I had to make sure everyone else was happy. Even if their happiness meant taking it from my own.
I’m not sure what the turning point was. Maybe it was spending the day crying when we were supposed to go to the Tumbridge Fair, Dan tried, but I just had no energy. Maybe it was feeling like my life was going nowhere. Maybe it was the constant arguing and bickering and pointless disagreements between me and Dan because I just couldn’t do anything. Maybe it was because the holidays felt like just another day. Maybe I had reached my breaking point.
Maybe it was the day I was driving home from work and thought that if some car hit me and I ended up in a coma for a few months that wouldn’t be so bad. I didn’t want to die, but I just wanted to wake up and have everything like it was supposed to be.
Maybe it was the concern Dan had for me, that every time I broke down he looked so worried and concerned. Maybe I was just so tired of being tired.
Maybe it was that Dan brought it up. In the kindest way possible he said I was probably depressed.
I wasn’t supposed to have that. I was supposed to be the care free, happy-go-lucky, free spirited person. I lied to myself again. I couldn’t possibly have depression.
It was a hard thing to hear. It was uncomfortable. It made me anxious and nervous and sad.
It took me weeks before I did anything about it.
Another nasty argument between Dan and I gave me the push to do something. Another argument I had started because I was so unhappy with myself and didn’t know how to deal with it except to take it out on the person I loved most. Sometimes I’m shocked that he has still stuck around through an incredibly hard year of breakdowns and fights and ugly crying, but I am so glad that he has.
I stormed out of the house, needing some space, needing to take Benny for a walk. And I got help. I did one of the scariest things I have ever done.
I scheduled an appointment to go see a therapist.
Then I schedule a doctor’s appointment and didn’t lie about how I was feeling. I wasn’t fine. I wasn’t okay.
The therapy was uncomfortable. I had to convince myself to go in every time, (I still do) taking minutes and minutes sitting in the parking lot before working up the courage. I’ve been learning that every bad feeling I have I try to get rid of as soon as I can. I’m not supposed to feel bad feelings. I ‘ve been learning it’s okay to feel those. It’s okay to feel not okay and tell people you feel that way.
The doctor’s appointment was uncomfortable. I got an antidepressant pill prescription. I cried about it. I was still lying to myself, still saying that it wasn’t that bad. The small orange prescription bottle was terrifying, the small white pills inside even more so.
Dan and I agreed I’d start taking them if I had another break down.
Which I did.
Day before New Years Eve. I stayed up until 3am because I had been horrible to Dan, because I couldn’t get my brain to shut off, because everything felt too heavy and too much. Then another one on New Years Day. I cried into my Lucky Charms and barely made it down stairs and away from my roommates before ugly crying into Dan’s shoulder and staining his shirt. And really ugly crying, like snot bubbles and unable to breathe ugly crying.
I felt like a burden, I didn’t want him to have to take care of me. I didn’t want my family to know, I didn’t want to be like this. I didn’t want to take the anti-depression pills; I didn’t want to be attached to that. I felt so guilty about everything. About feeling this terrible when I had everything going for me. About not being able to fix myself, I was supposed to be able to fix things. I felt guilty that I had such an easy life and wasn’t able to deal with it. I felt bad about everything. Everything was bad and terrible and heavy and dark.
Dan helped me feel okay about it. He helped me calm down, told me that no matter what he would never feel like I was a burden. He told me it was okay to need help, to ask for help.
Now it’s been a month and a few days since I’ve started taking them. It’s been more than 2 months since I started going to therapy.
I’ll say it again.
I take an antidepressant pill every day.
At first it was terrifying to unscrew the childproof cap and swallow the white pill down. Like it might hurt more than it would help, like I was finally bad enough to need external help.
But you know what?
I feel more like myself than I have in ages. I feel like the way I am supposed to feel.
I am excited to get up in the mornings, like a kid again. I literally wait next to Dan waiting for him to wake up so we can go do stuff for the day. And nothing in my day is more exciting; I’m not traveling off to a tropical island everyday. I’m just excited to get up and live. I’m excited to make coffee and breakfast and take Benny for a walk and feed our chickens.
And I’ve done a ton of work. I’ve tried to be more open and work towards so many things. Therapy was and still is a challenge for me to go to, but I feel lighter and more at ease after it. I know the pills haven’t fixed everything, but maybe they leveled the playing field, now I’m not fighting an uphill battle. I keep waiting for the other foot to drop, for everything to come spiraling down and for me to hit that low, dark place again. But so far it hasn’t happened. I’ve had days where I’ve felt out of sorts, where I have no motivation, where I can’t get myself to do much. But it’s still more than it was and the next day I feel good.
Even if the darkness does come again, even if I spend days on Netflix and not caring I’m done lying to myself. Or at least I’m going to try and lie less.
So here I am trying really hard not to lie. I’m tired of lying and being closed off and not feeling feelings. I’m tired of feeling like I’m the only one, like I’m not supposed to feel this way. And yes, I am nervous as heck to post this thing.
People might think why is she sharing that? It’s way too personal. No one cares.
Well, someone might. And if I can help just one person even if that person is me, I’m going to do it. I’m just going to do the thing even if I’m scared. And feelings are heckin’ scary.
So yeah, I am a liar. But here’s a truth. I struggle with depression. Not going to say that it’s gone because it might come back and I might struggle more than I am now. I am taking antidepressant pills and seeing a therapist.
I am a liar but I’m going to try to lie less about how I really am doing. It’s okay to not be okay and tell people about it.