Mental Health Awareness Month Takes on a New Meaning This Year

One of the toughest things about living with depression for most of my adult life is its ability to sneak up on me and steal my joy without me really noticing until I am in crisis mode. It seems silly to say; of course depression robs you of joy, but it often takes me by surprise. I recognize that I’m down and tend to pass it off as seasonal blues, or a few bad days. But when I look back I see a pattern of many more bad days than good ones, and I often find myself wondering why it has taken so long for me to really see what is going on.

When I say it robs me of joy, I don’t just mean I am in a sad mood for x amount of days. I mean that even when I’m on an upswing, even when it is a good day and I’m in a good mood, I seem to have lost touch with the things that make me happy.

I often joke that you can tell my mental state by the state of my home. It’s not a joke though. Cooking, cleaning, engaging with my family, self care, these are all things that suffer when I am depressed and it’s not funny. At all.

My instinct is to blame it on the weather. Except, it’s been sunny for months and I am still struggling.

I also tend to blame it on circumstances: this year has been a tough one in my life; of course I’m a little blue.

But when I’m being honest with myself it’s actually more than the sum those things. And when I’m really being honest with myself I know that I need help managing it.

The reason I am telling you this? Because it is mental health awareness month in the US this month, and I think it’s important to talk about it. Because everything is not always peachy, and that is ok. And also? Because I am finally putting a plan in place to start coping and recovering better. I am seeking professional help in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy, and am remaining open to pharmaceutical help as well. I’ve been on anti-depressants before and they helped a great deal, although I didn’t love some of the side effects and eventually went off them. My hope is that some therapy will help me identify the patterns before it gets bad, and give me some tools to manage recovery. Because the sad, detatched woman that lives inside my head sometimes isn’t the best version of me, but she is worth fighting for.

Thanks for reading.

Xo Amber

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