FUCK. THE. STIGMA. Your mental health is yours. Living with untreated depression isn’t living, it’s just surviving. I’ve lived with some form of depression my whole life, I think, and I’m 62 now. It held me back for years and now I’m working towards a world where that never has to happen to anyone again.

My depression is manageable now, meaning it’s mostly not in the driver’s seat anymore. If you have a med that makes you feel better now, that’s awesome; most people go through years of whack-a-mole with meds to find the right one (or the right mix). For me, it turned out to be Effexor, exercise, meditation, and cannabis.

There is nothing to hide, nothing to be ashamed of, you have a medical condition. Period. The chemistry in your brain isn’t quite balanced. If the chemistry in your liver was off, you’d fix it without any hesitation.

This might be episodic (meaning it could go away on its own) or chronic (meaning it’s something you’d be dealing with for a while); only time will tell.

My depression has also taught me a lot. One of the primary things — and something that I think applies in a lot of life in general — is that “better” is a fine outcome. My depression may never be “cured” in the sense that I won’t ever feel it again, and I can work on being better every day and that’s achievable and doesn’t make me feel like Sisyphus.

It’ll make you want to isolate; try not to let it. Connection helps. It’ll also try to keep you in bed (still); try not to let it do that, either. Get up and move — 10 minutes of walking, whatever. It helps. Those seem to be the best tools for dealing with the valleys. And don’t be surprised if sometimes it just takes time to clear. That’s normal, too.

Good luck with it. Don’t go it alone.

Storyteller, seeker, always curious, work-in-progress

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