I spent years telling people I wasn’t depressed. Even after I was finally diagnosed with severe clinical depression (among other things), I still claimed denial to everyone who asked. I thought it was dirty. I thought being sick was a bad thing. I thought this mostly because it’s exactly how society frames it, so of course that’s how I’d read into it. So, I denied being depressed for years, ultimately eventually even tricking myself into believing it, which is really dangerous because then when I did suffer from symptoms of said depression, I’d just think to myself, “Why do I feel this bad? What’s going on here?” when there was a clearly labeled answer staring me right back in the face.
Once you get past the initial feelings regarding your sickness, and accept that you’re sick and that it’s totally okay to be sick and not something to be ashamed of, that’s when you’re really moving onto better things. Staying stagnant in my denial just made me even worse than if I’d just faced my depression head on. It really did way more damage than the depression itself did. Once I acknowledged my sickness, it opened doors for me, like how to discover what coping mechanisms worked best for me.
But this isn’t just a personal problem. I felt bad because society told me I should feel bad. We even call depression an “illness”, for god sakes. I think what we need to start with first is literally stopping society from condemning the ill simply for being seemingly different from everyone else. That’s the first step in treating these illnesses. This isn’t something I brought onto myself or chose to have. This is just something that happened to me, against my will. I shouldn’t be made to feel bad for something I literally couldn’t stop from happening, and that’s, not gonna sugarcoat it, heavily damaged my life.
It’s affected the way “friends” have seen me, the way my family has treated me and the way I view myself by comparison because of those said reactions. I want to get better, but much like AA, I have to first admit I have a problem. That’s been the hardest step for me, honestly, but the most crucial. I wanted to deny it for so long, and I did, and I only did more damage to myself. Now I’m ready to grow. I’m ready to fight back.
I’m ready to be okay with being sick.
I’m Maggie. If you like this thing I made, you might like some other things I make, like my depressing webcomic “In Space, No One Can Hear You Cry”, the satirical online newspaper of “Nowhere, US”, my podcast “Coping With Tonal Shifts In Reality” or my writing over at Medium. You can also find some published work for sale over at my Payhip.
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