Personal Stories

I Wish You Knew

Living with depression is like going through life with a weighted vest on. Everything I do takes 200 percent of my energy. By the end of the day I am exhausted. My mind struggles to go on auto pilot. What another person does automatically like making coffee requires my mind to review the steps. For me with depression my procedural memory is affected. I’ve learned tricks to help myself through the struggle. Medication makes a difference. I use bracelets to help me remember activities of daily living. I wish you knew that depression is an illness. It has nothing to do with my intelligence. I wish you knew it has little to do with sadness. It is more of a numb feeling. I am actually a very positive person. 

Living with OCD feels like I get locked in a room against my will. When I have flare ups my intrusive thoughts can be crippling and in my mind I am screaming, pounding against the door. It’s like I get stuck in space unable to see past what is in front of me, hence the compulsion or ritual that happens and any attempt to deviate from that causes anxiety that feels like it will crush my chest. I wish you knew that I try to fight my compulsions. My mind is almost like a record that gets stuck on a loop. I work extremely hard to keep my life in balance and take care of myself to keep these at a minimum. I wish you knew how hard I try every day. I wish you knew that I am aware it doesn’t make sense to you or let alone me. I spend most of my time hiding these thoughts and feelings from the outside world which sometimes feels like a full-time job. I wish this condition was more widely understood and I could laugh about it. Distractions help, love helps, meditation helps. I don’t want to be different than you. I just want to blend in. I wish you knew how I struggle to accept myself as I am.

I wish you knew that having these illnesses doesn’t mean I can’t do everything you can. I just have to find creative ways to get to the same place. I wish you wouldn’t look at me differently when you know. I also wish everyone would stop using OCD and depression as words to describe how clean someone is or how sad you feel today. I wish that we could talk about it and that you would understand that it is a condition, not a weakness.  


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