A Personal Post About Depression5:00 AMDollie Simpson
I don't often get very personal on this site anymore. Mostly because it has gotten so big, bigger than myself even. Somethings I feel should be kept private, while others need to be talked about. I think this finally crosses the line. We don't often want to talk about depression because it's very personal, private and people feel shame in it. I think that maybe it's time we all start talking about it, because it affects a lot more people than you would think.
This summer I went into a depressive state. Now that I am doing a little bit better, I think I can talk about it. While it was happening I only confided in a few of my closest friends. Luckily I have a really good support system around me, that others may not have. So I am writing this post to firstly help myself. I used to write to get out my feelings, and lately I have not been doing that. Secondly, other people may be going through similar things and may feel alone in it. So I am here writing from my heart to say that you are not alone. Depression can affect anyone, no matter your age, gender, social status, wealth, or upbringing. Sometimes you don't even know why you are depressed or what triggered it. At least that is how I feel. So I have been doing some soul searching for lack of a better word, trying to experience new things in an effort to break me out of my funk.
I have struggled with depression on and off through most of my life, but in the last 10 years or so I have been generally happy. That is why this recent bout of depression caught me so off guard. How could I be depressed? I am not allowed to be depressed. I have a lovely home, a good career, and a husband who loves me. I have no complaints in life, I am happy! Right?
The more I thought about it, I was starting to feel like I had nothing to look forward to in life. I was feeling hopeless. It's silly, I know, but depression is like that. It just doesn't always make sense.
I am a social creature by nature, so I couldn't keep these feelings to myself for long. I ended up talking to a few good girlfriends and finally my husband. I think one of my girlfriends hit the nail on the head. She was privy to info that not many people where. I feel bad even talking about it here, because it's very personal. But this fall my husband and I had a pregnancy scare. It was the closest I've ever been to thinking I was pregnant. It turned out to be a really bad stomach flu, but for a while there I was really convinced. We both were. So when it turned out to be false I was both relieved and disappointed at the same time. It really sent me down a dark tunnel of evaluating my life. My friend brought up a good point. She said that the scare set off my depression because I am now at the point of my life where I have done everything I am "supposed to do" in life at this point. I wasn't born into a privileged life. I never even thought I would own a house, make good money. or have a successful marriage because I hadn't seen one first hand. So I already feel like I accomplished more than I had set out to do. But here I am, I'm married, I own a house, a good career, two cars, a dog and a cat. A baby is the next logical step, if we want one. But if we decided we don't? Then what? A logical person would say....enjoy your life and the hard work you put in, travel, etc! A depressed person says, I have nothing to live for now, nowhere to go from here.
I feel like as much as I like my life, I was in a rut. I have been doing the exact same things for years. The same vacations, seeing the same bands, wearing the same clothes. I had grown tired of my life. Since I decided that the impression that my life had grown stagnant was causing my depression, I decided to see what I could do to bring joy and excitement back into my life.
I needed a break from rockabilly I guess. I decided to look back into things I had enjoyed before. Seeing other bands that weren't rockabilly, wearing different clothes, meeting new people. I decided to look up bands I used to like as a teen. I bought their records, their tee shirts, went to see them play live. And I LOVED it! I met up with someone I previously only knew from Facebook and we went to Knotfest together. It was the biggest festival I had ever been to. Multiple huge stages, huge set-ups and people as far as the eye can see. I was right up front in a huge crowd, got knocked down by a crowd surfer and got a bloody nose. But you know what, I felt alive. I had a blast. This was anything but stagnant. So I bought more tickets to other shows. I bought a faux leather jacket, some shadow plaid, a mini skirt! I was having a ball. Slowly my depression lifted and my re-ignited flame for hard rock and roll stayed. I feel like I cheated on rockabilly a bit, but hey, it's okay.
"Hey, it's okay".
It's okay to feel down sometimes.
It's okay to take time for yourself.
It's okay to try stuff outside of the box.
It's okay to revisit things you used to like and once wrote off.
It's okay to try new types of styles.
It's okay to meet different types of people.
It's okay to be different.
I found this helped me to get out of my rut, get out of my depression at least for now. My husband has been as supportive as he can, even though change is always hard. We changed a few things in our life that was making it stagnant, taking us the same places over and over again. I'm ready to get back into things I used to love, like art. I changed my daily schedule. I get up earlier and work out in the morning, allowing me more time in the evenings to be home and do what I want. I started to re-focus on my health. I don't stay out as late on weekends and I drink less. I am saying "no" more often. No to going to the same places, doing the same things, seeing the same bands. I just need a break for myself, for my health. I needed something different, and that is what I am giving to myself. I no longer will do what is expected of me, just because it's expected. I will work on doing what is right for me, no matter what others may think. I love this quote and need to be constantly reminded of it:
So there you go. In closing I want to say that depression is something we need to talk about, even though it is hard. More people deal with it than you realize. I am doing better by just re-evaluating my life on a day to day basis. Doing what I can to make myself happy. Focusing on today. I ask you to do the same. Make sure what you are doing is making you happy, and if not, respect yourself enough to change it.