I am Merrill. I am 32. I love chocolate and Twilight. And I have depression. I am a loving mother and rock star wife and a mighty fine teacher. And I have depression. I am funny and I love my friends and I can sew. And I have depression. I love the USA and I love flying and drinking champagne. And I have depression. I have asthma and am allergic to nuts and seafood. And I have depression. I love Theme Parks and scary movies and dancing. And I have depression. I am just like you. I am not below you. I am not crazy or psychopathic. I do no need to have my head read. I do not need to be avoided or spoken to loudly. I do not need to be called names or talked about. I do not have PND or OCD, I have depression. It does not ‘go away’, it ebbs and flows like the ocean and sometimes I am overtaken by the waves and sometimes I am not. I manage it like I manage my asthma; with medication. I see a counsellor, I talk to people.
I know it makes some people uncomfortable. That’s OK. I am not suicidal, you can still talk to me like I’m ‘normal.’ Because actually, I am normal. (For the most part…;P.) We don’t have to talk about it at all, but please don’t avoid me or worse, pity me. I am simply one of the 1 in 3 people who suffer from a mental illness that you will encounter in your lifetime. There will be more, it may be you. I will not hide that I suffer from this. If acknowledging this makes you feel ashamed of me, then we best part ways. I am hard enough on me, no need for you to join the party.
Sometimes I have to go to ground for a bit. Maybe I won’t answer the phone or come out. It’s important for me to do this. Please don’t discard me because I am flawed. Sometimes I have dreadful turmoil and being in a social situation makes it worse. Sometimes I just need only the closest people in my life around. It’s not because I don’t love you, it’s just because I care enough about myself, and you, to know my limits and boundaries. And also yours. Most people aren’t psychologists and I have learnt the hard way that there is such a thing as leaning too much on others, the professionals are there for a reason.
My depression is sometimes specific and sometimes not. Some days I am just sad. Other days it is a specific issue that ignites it. For months I may feel consistently upbeat and then, like now, it strikes me down. Currently I am sleep deprived and this is feeding the demon. Keeping well rested and healthy is so important.
Right now I am feeling at odds with my future. I am not sure I want any more children. My love for Smushy is incredible and I am so content with her and spouse…us. I have itchy feet. I miss America, I miss the world. Do we spread our wings again? Do we settle for a bit? I don’t know. And so I feel uncomfortable and unsettled and sad. I take joy in Addison and bathe in the moments with her. I keep my sadness for the alone times. For the dark. And I beat myself up for my flaws and ungrateful sadness. I punish myself in my head for this tortured way of thinking. Who am I to be so sad when I have so much? Who am I, with my first world problems? I am hard on myself because ..I don’t know why. I want to pull myself together and pull my socks up. But for now, for today I can’t. I know some people want to yell this at me, to shake me..but it doesn’t help. Do you scream and yell at me when I have an asthma attack? No.
It is hard to explain, to show you the pain. But like always, I will beat it and tomorrow is a new day.
I am Merrill. I am 32. I have depression. But I am so much more than that too.