I’m starting this entry by simply stating that I’m happy. And it’s not the fireworks or too much excitement – I’m talking about me being calm and in peace. One can say, no wonder, I have all I need – a job, a new life in London ahead of me and at this very second I’m in a plane for some vacation time. So everything is just perfect, right? Well… for now, and not really everything.
Only rare moments in life, are entirely ok. There is almost always something that sucks. For example today is the second month of me not working, so no salary comes into my bank account, no one wants to rent my apartment and my sister is in a hospital. And tomorrow will bring other sad points to the list. How come I am so happy then? I just think it’s irrelevant. My theory is, that happiness is a state rooted more in our core us, than dependent on life circumstances. You can be happy and worried in the same time. You can even be happy and cry because you’re sad. But it’s happiness, that can make you go through all those life obstacles. Otherwise it becomes really difficult. And this is the state I’m in right now, for some time actually. Envious? Don’t be – start being happy yourself.
Easy to say? Far from that actually. As the title of the post says – I worked for that. And it was a hard battle. I went through years of anger, rejecting people, clinical depression, and lots of other shit. How did I get out? How come I can breathe now and just enjoy my life? It wasn’t easy and it took me few years to deal with it.
At the beginning I just didn’t notice how miserable I was. That’s because I was too busy. I was during my studies, just started my second faculty. And it was the love of my life – math. I found a job as a programmer and finally had some social life. More than that – rumor had it, my boyfriend was just about to propose. Everything was perfect, right? Nope… That was actually the middle of the clinical depression. Not because of those factors, of course. Reasons were inside me.
Do you think I noticed that I had a problem? Not at all – too exhausted to realize that. Did I get that I had too much on my plate? Honestly, I was even thinking that I was lazy. I knew other people that dealt with this kind of situations much better than me. So I tried to push it more to the limit, still taking more duties to my shoulders.
There were some signs though that something is wrong. I’m not a therapist so the things I’m about to point out come just from my experience and research I’ve done. But I’ve seen those behaviors so many times in my friends lives, that I just need to highlight them.
If you are miserable for months – this may be a sign of a depression. If you hate yourself and/or other people – this might a be a sign of a depression. If you live day by day without joy – this might be a sign of a depression. If you have picks of enthusiasm just to keep you alive between ages of a bad mood – this might be a sign of a depression. If you’re tired all the time, and want to vomit every morning – this might be a sign of a depression. Finally, if you cry every day, for weeks – this is definitely a depression. And it doesn’t help if you’re exhausted. Because then you won’t have energy to fight those destructive feelings.
Because I managed to have friends and loving family back then, they noticed that there is something wrong with me. Me on the other hand was refusing to admit it. And when I finally did, I figured I’m that smart and strong, that now, because I know the problem exists, can figure this out just by myself. I’m a problem solver, right? Help is for weak people. I just need to pull myself together and everything will be great again.
Again – depression doesn’t work like that. It’s not logical. It’s not present because you have some difficulties in your life. Hence solving them, won’t make it disappear. It’s an illness that results in adding so many emotion to your life and your thoughts, that it just becomes impossible to figure stuff out. So how to get some distance? Yes – the therapy word now comes in, drugs even. Both are pretty controversial, which is understandable and sad in the same time. People (including me back then) often think that it’s the last option for them, to use when they are desperate, just for crazy people. They prefer to struggle and trying harder than get actual help. They refuse to admit one of the two things – that they are already by the wall or that you don’t have to hit the bottom to want to get better.
I thought the same. So the result was me fighting with my emotions, telling everybody I know about what I’m going through and … no progress. That’s because family and friend are not qualified to heal you. They should be there to support or love you, but not to play a role of psychologists. I still didn’t thought that this kind of help is an option for me, and refused to call a professional. Fortunately one of my friends did it for me.
I still think I’m not a good candidate for therapy. I’m a smartass, I know everything better. I can manipulate the psychologist. I believe in pharmacology more. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t worked that time. It gave me some structure in my life, some project to do. I still remember first moment I felt better. While coming back from one of the sessions, waiting for cars to pass by, so I can cross the street, I finally realized the source of one of my problems. And it felt so stupid to have it as a source. That moment I left it at this crossroad. I hope nobody picked it up.
I finished therapy after half a year. It’s very soon, I realize that. And it didn’t mean I was healed. But as I already said – it wasn’t a proper solution for me. But appeared as a great starting point. Now with clearer mind, distance to myself and to the world, the real work could start. You can read about it next time, but no worries – you already know there will be the happy end.
Also – see the great talk about depression in devs world.