My doctor said I don’t have depression.
She told me I live a great life, I learn, I drive, I am a Mom, so I can’t possibly have depression.
If I was not having depression, why was my head exploding and I was not able to work?
Why is it that I had trouble falling asleep? I was always up at 5.00a.m no matter when I slept but I roll over and tried to go to sleep again. At six I definitely got up
I used spend nearly fifteen minutes mentally groaning…Time to face another day. Go to work.
I never really felt hungry, but did’t miss my meals except supper. I kept wondering why I can’t work
I used to keep twisting, turning, and getting drowsy … it was getting worse day by day. Some kind of lethargy. A mental blankness … some feeling that I don’t care … I don’t really want this and so on and so forth
It’s tough to put it in words
All I wanted to do was flop somewhere and read or sleep. The minute I got to work, I used to go nuts.. I always wanted to sleep.. It happened every time. That doesn’t mean I couldn’t complete assignments. I did but this is not how I wanted it to be. Not a struggle all the time.
That’s why I went to the doctor in the first place. Instead she took my money and told me I don’t have any depression. She said I just tell myself that. She said I can’t possibly have depression but she kept calling me in for sessions.
I am not dreaming up things or whining..I have tried and tried for weeks and months.
A few months later I chucked my Doctor. I mean, if she says nothing is wrong with me ..I am just being negative … what’s the point in going to her and paying her just for her to tell me I am being negative?
My last message to her was: “Ma’am I feel blessed. When I see other people suffering, I feel I am the only one without problems. So I don’t need therapy anymore.”
She replied she is happy for me and that was the end.
A little background on my life
I am a freelance writer.
I started writing because I wanted to be on my own. I did not want to work in an office with an employer breathing down my neck all the time.
Initially, everything was fine. I was unhappy, but I could write for hours endlessly. It never affected my writing
Since a couple of months, I started losing interest in my work and writing is something I am truly passionate about and that’s why it was terrifying for me but I had to go on writing because that’s the only thing I am good at and that’s how I earned my livelihood.
That’s why I was worried. That’s why I went to the doctor but she told me nothing’s wrong
So if qualified doctors don’t understand me, how do I fight this out?
It’s only when what I am undergoing meets the criteria of a disorder that I will be taken seriously. My situation didn’t fill in their boxes to be termed as depression so I felt I cannot seek help and feel heard or understood.
I was worried I won’t be able to defeat it any more. .. This monster ..Call it depression or whatever. The problem was not outside..It was inside
And funny thing is I am a good solver of problems on the outside. I only get defeated by inside problems
I didn’t want to leave my job. I wanted to work more and I couldn’t because of this heaviness in the head, this blankness and these crazy thoughts
My God the thoughts just never stopped
“I am a failure”
“I am no good”
“I have never been good”
“I will never be good”
So many permutations and combinations of those above thoughts
I can’t do it … I don’t want to do it .. Why should I do it
The truth is I am not that bad but that’s the struggle I have been in ever since the past ten twelve years … before that I wasn’t even acknowledging I am not that bad. Before that, it was like this … I am so hopeless I felt I deserve to die
The last time I truly felt happy was my little angel was placed in my arms for the first time, I thought I had experienced heaven.
Actually, I pulled myself up only for the little angel’s sake
The only thing that made my life worthwhile is the little boy.
I couldn’t remember any happiness before that. Just hopelessness
I dreamed of helping many children, but I thought that may never happen with me struggling with inner monsters day in and day out. So I thought I should at least focus on one little boy
I wished I could do something for other children as well but I didn’t know how … many years back, I went to a priest and told him I would like to serve the kids in the orphanage. he gave me a big lecture on what will you do? What service will you give? … and sent me away.
Maybe I looked the nutcase I am.
My life took a turn when I got in touch with a counselor. She told me that my educational background and work was such that I had a lot to offer to children, that a lot of NGOs and other charitable organizations would be grateful if someone could offer to teach children English, writing etc.
I have nearly six years of experience teaching English … I think I quit because of this problem.
So she asked me if given an opportunity, would I like to take this idea forward?
It would give a sense of purpose and fulfill one of my wishes as well…She encouraged me saying a lot of children would benefit as well if I am willing to share my knowledge and expertise
Yes it would but at the same time, I was afraid I won’t be able to do it. I felt that I will not have the required energy levels.
But I wish I could do it
I want to do it
She motivated me so much and was there by my side every step of the way
It dawned on me that the will to do something is what can turn around lives.
Image Courtesy- Book latte
She understood my apprehensions and made me question myself…We would never know unless we try right?…So how about I give it a shot.
In subsequent sessions she told me it is okay to feel anxious prior to getting myself involved into something, but as long as it is something purposeful, it will be a very rewarding experience for me
I myself started getting firm with the idea of visiting child helpline and volunteering, but these random thoughts would make me doubt myself time and again… I am struggling to complete four articles a day..It’s such a struggle..It makes me feel I am fighting a war
She made me realize I was equating the problems faced in writing articles to this experience as well and that it was natural to get apprehensive but just because we are not performing to our own expectations in one domain, does not mean it will be the same outcome everywhere.
That did make a lot of sense
There’s nothing to lose here right?…In fact whatever knowledge I share I’m sure the children will only reap rewards
It became concrete in my mind that as long as one is taking risks for something meaningful, it is okay to do as we like. I asked around and finally landed an opportunity that let me do exactly what I wanted.
Now I am able to avoid the thoughts that tell me otherwise.
I understood then that some times, in order to discover more about ourselves, it is important that we take certain risks. It is for our own happiness and peace of mind.
The battle is so much harder when the cause of unhappiness is within us and is not visible or we cannot really explain it in words but what I learnt is that when we are unhappy from within then it demands to be introspected on and addressed.
My counselor helped me do just that.