I’ve always seen depression as a hole, a looming, unshakable darkness that consumes all light. For two years now, I’ve been stuck in this hole, this “dark place” of depression, and quite frankly, I’m sick of it. I hate being tired, grumpy, lonely, a-motivational, (it’s ridiculously difficult JUST to get myself to shower!) unsociable, and pessimistic. Basically, I feel like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. If you’ve ever struggled with depression I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
But today, for the first time in a LONG time, my perspective has changed. While talking to a friend, I realized that I was being honest and authentic naturally. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me it’s huge. All my life I’ve struggled with being myself. I often “hold back” because I’m overly concerned about the reaction I’ll receive from people when I’m “me”. And I try to be real and honest, believe me I try, but it’s a huge and life-long struggle. The fact that I was “myself” with this person without giving it a second thought is kind of a miracle.
It made me wonder what had changed in me that helped me not to second-guess myself. And the answer shook me, body and soul. Depression changed me. Depression! The realization forced me to ask myself, “How could something so dark and miserable help me to be more real?”
Probably, I’ve been more real because of the tiredness I’ve experienced during this season of depression. And I’m not just talking about physical exhaustion, depression has made me tired of pretending; pretending that everything’s fine, pretending to be normal, pretending I’m something I’m not. Constantly keeping up with these pointless facades has proved to be utterly exhausting.
And not only has depression made me tired of pretending, it’s helping me to accept myself. Lately, I haven’t been as concerned about other’s opinions of me, or the things I say and do. I’ve just been me, and I’ve realized: a lot of people are ok with that, they like it even! And I’m learning to like it—to like me—too.
I think this realization of how depression has had a positive effect on me is the first step in a journey toward self-acceptance and “real-ness,” if that’s even a word. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me! And I hope you’ll be along for the ride. ;)