The following was written back in 2014, when we lost one of the funniest men on earth. We’ve learned a lot about mental illness since then, losing countless celebrities, family members, neighbours, heroes if you will, to suicide.
Before now, I only ever dipped my toes into fully revealing what has happened in my life, protecting that mask that I put out there like it’s the only thing I own. I have 95 other topics to write about in my notes, but I’ll begin today with this…
AUGUST 13, 2014
Despite the tragic news of the death of one of the funniest men on earth I am still not ready to admit to the world that I have ‘depression’. This disease has haunted me since before I was 10 years old.
I remember crying in the bathroom at public school, hiding from people and teachers because I couldn’t explain why I was crying – there was no reason for it – when everything was so AWESOME in my life! I VERY quickly learned to hide it, put on my ‘happy’ mask and do my best to please everyone, get straight A+’s, and be the BEST most loving, kind person I could be – only to go home and cry by myself. Every. Single. Night.
I’ve fought it, I’ve survived it. I’ve built a lovely life around myself, my amazing son, my awesome family (my incredible mom who has been there for EVERYTHING), my true friends and my tireless, amazing and completely accepting boyfriend. But I still can’t explain how much of a disgusting, soul sucking disease it is in a way that will make someone who has never had IT understand.
I’m not ready to admit it to the world as I have lost MANY friends over the years because of it. I left an amazing job with an amazing boss because of it. I’ve lost MANY years of my life because of it. I always felt as though the people in my life would be so much better without me (my disease) in it.
I’ve been hospitalized three times, had 3 different sets of electro-shock therapy treatments (uuuggghhhh), suffered the horrible side effects of medications that didn’t work and spent EVERY LAST SHRED of my energy (and dignity) trying not to be a burden on ANYONE. I’m so tired.
I’ve often told my mom that I wish I had cancer instead (with all due respect to those who have fought it). Then I would be seen as a HERO for surviving this deadly (yes deadly) disease for soooo many years, and for the many years to come, as there is no ‘cure’. I will see my son grow into an amazing man. I will hold and play with my grandchildren. But the world isn’t ready for me to tell them yet. The judgements will continue, the mis-understandings, and the labels. The flaw in my chemistry will still be seen as a flaw in my character. Not ready quite yet.
I am ready.