I'm Depressed and That's Okay

I’ve struggled off and on for the past decade with depression, and that’s okay. I wouldn’t be who I am without those experiences and learning from them. I’ve developed a self-awareness that I’m thankful for and a deep sense of empathy for the struggles others go through. Would I instead have learned these things without the battle of depression? Probably, but it wouldn’t have been the same without that experience.

I’m struggling with depression right now, after about four years of being relatively mentally healthy. It has come with fatigue, pain, headaches, insomnia, and loss of appetite. It’s definitely frustrating, especially when I wake up and I can’t get my body to move. When I ask myself if it’s worth getting up and I think “yes it absolutely is, you love school!”But I still can’t manage to make my body move and cooperate with that enthusiasm.

I’m lucky that I have a ton of supportive people around me. I have a supportive family that checks in with me and reminds me that they love me. I have friends that cheer me on and tell me that they’re there for me if I need to talk about it. I have a job with bosses that are positive and encouraging, and even check in with me on days that I’m not working just to see how I’m doing. I have an ESA dog that has unconditional love for me and makes me get out of bed to feed and walk her, so I’m accountable for something. I have a supportive disability resource consultant that reassures me that I am doing the things I need to do to keep communication open with my professors. I have understanding and empathetic professors that know the struggle and are there for me whenever I need to talk about my struggles with the class or just about struggling with a disability.

I also have Her Campus. Which sounds incredibly cheesy, but if you have ever heard my puns, you know I thrive on a gouda pun. I decided to join Her Campus ASU to put myself out there and make some friends, and I am so glad past me was thinking of the future me. Not only has Her Campus helped me expand my support network, but the group has helped me to connect and not feel so alone at the university. Which has ultimately been one of the most important things for me this time around with my depression.

My history of depression taught me to form a support network, that communication is vital, to do what I can each day, and to not punish myself or beat myself up for my depression, which is out of my control.

Right now it’s an hour by hour struggle, I’ll feel good for a little while then absolutely crash with no energy to interact with people. Or I will wake up unable to move, but after a few hours, I have enough energy to be productive. Which usually results in cleaning, doing dishes, or showering. But instead of focusing on the things I can’t do or get done, I celebrate the small victories in my day like getting an assignment done, sending an email, writing an article, or even just getting out of bed onto my feet.

I’m depressed, but that’s okay because I know I’m strong enough, and I have the tools and skills to get through it.