Friday, March 29, 2019

Mental Health Revisited

Welcome to the party. You're gonna hate it here.

I'm sure you know this by now, but I have anxiety and depression. I've always been anxious. I'm
pretty sure it really, officially set in when I was in high school. After my son was born 7 years ago I had some pretty wicked postpartum depression and I finally got medication to help. It was a decision I wish I had made much, much sooner.

Depression is a fickle bitch. Anxiety is just as bad. They're like the dynamic duo of bullshit and they
basically come and go as they please. Bright sunny day out? Feeling good? Here comes anxiety kicking in your door like the goddamn Kool-Aid Man. You're on edge. You're scared. You feel like something bad is about to happen, but you don't know what or why.  Or in the case of depression, you just don't feel much of anything. The song Mr. Blue Sky could literally be playing out in real life, right in front of your sad-sack face, and the most you'll be able to muster is a weak, "meh." Or maybe some low key snark, if you're feeling saucy.

World: The sun is shining in the sky!
Me: Yes. If it wasn't, we'd all be dead.
World: There ain't a cloud in sight!
Me: Yeah? And?
World: It's stopped raining!
Me: 'Bout goddamn time.
World: Everybody's here to play, and don't you know, it's a beautiful new day!
Me: I'm going to bed.

Now, as far as I'm concerned, there are two types of people in the world. Those who understand mental health issues and those who need to shut the fuck up.
...And I mean that in the nicest way possible. You can always tell someone who doesn't get it by how they respond to the situation. They think depression will magically go away if you count your blessings, or smile more, or... ugh... tell yourself you don't have any real reason to be depressed.

Bitch, my brain physically cannot make the proper cocktail of smiley chemicals and neurotransmitters to keep me on what is considered to be a socially acceptable level of  happiness. I can't possibly think of any reason more real than that. Throw in some shitty genetics on top of it (Thanks Granny D!), and tell me again to count my blessings.

The people who understand things like anxiety and depression are, more often than not, people who also suffer from it. They're the ones who will hand you a bottle of water during a panic attack, say, "You are slogging through shit valley, my friend. Hang in there, it'll be over soon." and then send you funny cat pictures once you're calmed down. They don't ask you to explain why you're freaking out or feeling down. They know there isn't often a reason beyond the fact that your just brain decided to kick you in the mental balls today.

And that's cool. Just make sure that you get back up. Take your meds. Talk to your therapist. Visit
your doctor. Practice some fucking self care. And don't be so hard on yourself. You're doing everything a regular person is doing with the added weight of your brain arguing and screaming at you like the grumpy, sleep deprived toddler it is.

Good for you, dude. Good for me! Yeah bitches! We're slogging through shit valley with a backpack full of everyday life to look after and we're still moving! We're slapping our freeloading junk heap of a brain with some medication and talking about our goddamn feelings to people who get it and get us! We're taking a break in shit valley to regroup when we get tired and we don't give a fuck if people look at us and wonder why. Then, when we're rested, we'll pick up our backpack full of everyday life, and get back to slogging... but maybe a little more steadily this time.

Slog on, bitches.

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