Let’s talk about depression.

I often write as a means of processing, of discerning if my concerns are valid enough to form a coherent message.

Right now, I want to talk about something that I don’t like processing, something I don’t like even acknowledging exists.

In middle school, it was an angsty sadness.

In Slovakia, I was drowning.

In Des Moines, I was angry.

In Iowa City, I was apathetic, lethargic.

Weeks, months, semesters, I’ve gone through many episodes of depression.

I discovered in Slovakia that I was a fair-weather fan. After a sexual assault at a New Year’s Eve party ripped away any version of naivety, the sun shone on the first day of 2009. For the next four months, I could count on one hand the number of times I felt sunlight on my face. Those were the only days when I felt like I could go on. At a ski lodge in April, a panic attack brought everything to a head, and I walked out to my friends ready to be alive again.

Iowa City was far, far different. In the middle of autumn, bright cloudless skies highlighting the brilliant foliage couldn’t lift my soul from it’s empty state. I stopped coordinating Supper Club. I started binge watching Netflix and ordering pizza several times a week. School, work, sleep, repeat. No desire to do, or to be. I felt nothing.

If there is one good thing to come out of losing May’s, it is that I didn’t spiral into another episode. I grieved, deeply. I’m homesick for my coffee shop even now. But I did not become depressed in the months following the loss of my baby.

Just before I moved to Denver, my mom asked me if I knew what caused these fluctuations. I wish I did. After a year and a half of therapy, I’m no closer to an answer of the reasons why my brain will suddenly decide that it doesn’t have the strength to be normal, why a social being will suddenly grow weary of even the idea of human interaction, why these states last for the periods of time that they do.

I don’t know.

But here’s the deal.

There are people struggling with depression all the time.

I could give you the spiel, but frankly, if you’re aware at all, you know how many forms there are. You know that no one’s experience is the same. You know that it isn’t something you can just “think your way out of” – trust me, I was fighting it tooth and nail.

So why am I bringing this from the back of my mental cupboards now, putting pain on display for the world to see?

Because today as I was driving home, feeling the warmth of the sunshine, I was thinking about depression. I was thinking about how you can hide away bits and pieces of you and manage to forget they are there, and then sometimes someone comes and reminds you it’s okay to put yourself back together again. That it is okay to feel alive.

Then I got home, and a dear friend texted me, because she was falling apart on the inside too.

I’m 24 years old.

I do not have my life put together.

I’m a college graduate.

I do not have my life put together.

I moved to another state on a whim.

I do not have my life put together.

But you know what?

That’s okay, too.

Dear friend of mine, hurting. It is okay. It is okay to not have your life put together. It is okay to not understand why you feel what you feel. It is okay to be conflicted. It is okay to struggle. You are so dearly loved, cherished, and wanted. Any maybe those words don’t mean all that much right now. But someday, some day they may. We can grow together. We can cry together. We can mourn, we can laugh, we can pretend the world doesn’t exist for a while.

It’s gonna be okay.


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