Little Victories

So, you may have noticed that I haven’t written anything in a long time. Or maybe you didn’t. I didn’t realize it for a while. When I did, my immediate feelings on the thought were guilt, annoyance, disappointment. I’ve always loved to write, but lately I haven’t been doing it.

Piles of unfinished written works litter my documents folder. Bits of paper laden with old incoherent ideas are falling out of the sides of my purse. At the time they made sense, but now I can’t remember why on earth I wrote “tree, purple, dark” on a grubby bit of paper from a notebook I don’t remember purchasing.

I’d like to tell myself it was because I’ve been busy. I’ve been living and having fun and I don’t have time to write it all down. The truth is far less exciting.

The truth is that I have persistent major depressive disorder. And I’ve been letting it rule my life.

For most of my life, I’ve been a “sad” person. I’m the negative Nancy. The realist. I’ve always been told that I’m kind, but I’m blunt and I’m honest to a fault. Depression apparently only serves to worsen my worst qualities. Which is extremely aggravating because all that negative energy is coming from me. It’s not from some bully telling me I’m a piece of shit. It’s me telling me I’m a piece of shit.

I am late too often. I’ve missed out on too many things while feeling physically sick or mentally incapable of living out my day. I either sleep too much or too little. I’m either pretty happy or so sad I can’t get out of bed. I am living in extremes and I feel like I’ve lost control of the wheel. I remember being early for events or school or work. I remember exercising regularly and taking care of myself. I can remember showering every single day and dressing up when I went places.

But it feels like someone else did all those things. Not me. And I hate that the most. I don’t feel comfortable in my body. It doesn’t feel like it’s mine anymore and I don’t know how to get it back.

The only way to get my life back is to amend my behavior and work to find balance. But where do I start? How do I help myself when I hate myself? I may disappoint many people in my life but more than anything I’m a disappointment to myself. I don’t know who I am anymore. I’m learning all these new things about myself but they don’t always feel like things I want to know.

I guess writing this piece is a start. Recognizing that I have a problem is the beginning. I’m getting help from others, but it’s high time I decided to help myself. A million people could love me. But if I don’t learn to love me what good is it all?

I don’t have all the answers and I won’t lie and say defeating depression is easy (I told you I was honest). Many depressed individuals feel entirely alone even when we’re in a room full of people. I don’t know how to stop being halfway present and find a more solid version of myself. I mean, most of the time I feel like Will Byers running from the demogorgon in the Upside Down except it’s me and the demogorgon is actually my depression. It’s always dark and it’s always out there and sometimes it comes out of nowhere and steals me away.

But I have to try to find my way out of this dark place, right? I have to try. No one else can bring me back to myself. I have to find the courage to get out of bed in the morning and the strength to go to work and keep moving. They may be little victories, but they’re my little victories. The goal is to one day find that all my little victories have added up to a big one.

Ashlynn Powell Contributor Photo
Ashlynn Powell : Avid reader and aspiring writer. Firm believer in honesty and random acts of kindness. Will most definitely be an ancient dog lady in her later years and is totally owning it. Many have said she’s a senior citizen trapped in a young woman’s body (they are not wrong).
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