I had a "friend" recently tell me that I need to "snap out of this depression" I'm in. Wouldn't it be nice if we - those of us suffering from depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD, what have you - could just "snap out of it"? Not only was it one of the most insensitive things I've ever heard, it actually enraged me. I told them, "If I could be happier, don't you think I would?"
Anger is no stranger to me. It's always there, even when I don't realize it. Something as simple as my cat snoring next to me, distracting me while I'm trying to focus on a paper for school is enough to make smoke come out of my ears. It just builds and builds inside of me, but unlike a volcano, it never erupts. I'm actually waiting for the moment where it all comes to a head and I snap. But I haven't yet. And I don't think I will. It's hard to describe feeling claustrophobic inside your own body and mind.
I've always held the fact that no, I'm not suicidal, as if it were a badge of honor on my chest. I've been through more than some could handle, and I'm still here. Whenever I meet a new doctor or therapist and that question comes up in the first session, I've always been happy to honestly say "no," and actually mean it. I don't have thoughts of seriously jumping in front of a train or swallowing an entire bottle of pills at once. I don't want to die; death terrifies me. Who knows what actually happens when we die? Does life just go on as it is now, only in space, forever and ever and ever? An eternity of feeling the way I do now? No thank you.
Recently, though, I've come to realize that I need to address something that's been there for years (and I mean YEARS. Going through the adoption process might've brought these issues to light, but it certainly did not create them. I've been this way since I was probably twelve or thirteen.), but I've ignored. Or I've talked about it lightly. I actually am killing myself. Slowly. After I had (and placed) my daughter, I felt like I had no one. While that's not true, it's still how i felt. No one was there for me the way I thought I needed them to be, and no one...try as they might...could understand. I wanted to talk to someone all day, but I didn't want to talk to anyone at all. I wanted someone to hold me and be there for me, but I wanted to be alone, isolated in my bedroom. I wanted someone to ask how I was, and I wanted to throw my phone across the room when someone texted me to check on me. But then there was food. I didn't need to get dressed and put makeup on and brush my hair to eat. I didn't need to shower to eat. I didn't need to make actual plans; food was always there waiting. And if I didn't feel like cooking, well, most restaurants these days do carry-out orders.
I became that girl who stayed inside and literally ate her feelings. I became that girl who could eat a small cheese pizza all by herself...three nights a week. When I was sad, I ate. Then, because I ate an entire two-course meal in one sitting in my bed, I felt sad all over again. Guilty. I was so secretive. If I throw away all of the trash or packaging, no one will know what I do. No one will know I cancel plans to stay in my bedroom and eat an obscene amount of food that I would never actually eat in front of people. After I had my daughter, I lost more weight than I had gained during the pregnancy. I was smaller than I was before becoming pregnant. Now, slowly but surely, I've become bigger than I was when I was pregnant. I'm miserable. I'm making myself miserable. I may not be suicidal, but this behavior is killing me.
Now that I've accepted it myself, admitted it, and am talking about it (even though I'm talking to a computer screen), I believe I can start working on it. It will take time. It took time to get to this point and it will take time to get back to where I know I need to be. I want to be healthy. I want to be here on this earth the day my child decides she wants to see me again. And I don't want to be on medication for high cholesterol, diabetes, or heart disease. Or any other illness that comes about when you eat the way I have eaten for the past three +/- years. I might need help, but I'm too proud and simultaneously self-conscious to ask for help. So I'm giving it a go and hoping that, by putting it out there, I can change.