I get depression from time to time. It’s like the flu for me. Every once in a while, it just comes on. I feel it, and I know it’s there.
Ironically enough, the root of my depression stems from one of my highest motivators: I’m able to envision what could be. What I really want. And what it would look like, feel like, be like — I’m totally there. I’m always attuned to the greatest life that I could be living. And while sometimes that’s a major source of motivation and inspiration for me — I literally have a vision board hanging so it’s the first thing I see every morning — I also recognize that knowing what my best life would look and feel like can lead me to feel “less than” and inadequate compared to those possibilities from time to time.
As I get older, I’ve started to realize that no amount of achievement will ever change this. When I was single, I thought marriage would fix it. When I was married, I thought having a child would fix it. When I worked in medicine, I thought leaving and starting my own business would fix it. And while all of those things are amazing and fulfilling and I am eternally grateful for having them, I also still get depressed from time to time.
I think another source of my occasional depressive periods is that I just overthink everything. I’m definitely in my head too much, although I’ve gotten better through the years.
I’ve come to realize, though, that it’s not about anything in my life. For whatever reason, every once in a while, it hits, and no amount of exercise, therapy, reading positive books, spending time with loved ones, or anything else can fix it. I just ride out the wave. I do what needs to be done in a day, I show up for other people and take care of my son as a responsible adult, and I allow myself some grace, knowing that the day will come where it all feels easier again, and then I know the depressive episode is over.
My purpose in writing this particular piece is because I knew someone years ago who suffered from depression, and I always wanted to reach out, but I wasn’t sure how, and then she died, and I’ve always regretted not reaching out. Talking about our shared experience and letting someone with depression know that they’re not alone, just normalizing the experience, is so powerful sometimes. And while it probably wouldn’t have changed anything for her, I live with that regret, so I write this in hopes that, if someone out there is reading this with depression and feeling dark and low and blah, know that you’re not alone and you’re still lovable and you can still create a life worth living.