I Have a Secret

I go away and hide out sometimes. Sometimes for a day. Sometimes for a week.

I get so burnt out and overwhelmed by life in general that I just can’t handle anything. So I turn off my phone and I stay in bed. Because it’s safe in there and if I don’t try anything I won’t fail at anything. And it makes me feel weak. And it makes me feel like a bad person. It’s hard on my professional commitments, it’s hard on my friendships and it’s hard on my marriage.

I will lie in bed sometimes just screaming at myself: “GET IT TOGETHER! Put your big girl pants on and GET UP.” And sometimes the louder I scream, the deeper I want to bury my head in the sand.

It’s frustrating as hell because I know that there is this really happy, UP person living inside me. And I like her. And she has a lot of friends and a lot to do and see. She’s fun. But when she isn’t around, I feel so lost. It’s equally frustrating when those friends of hers try to help, try to cheer me up and it just won’t work. I want it to work. I want to be cheered.

I tell myself to concentrate on the little things: get dressed. Do the dishes. Write your recaps. But the little things get swallowed by the big things so often: what are you doing with your life? Where are you going with this? STOP BEING SO RIDICULOUS.

One of my favorite writers, Jenny Lawson (a.k.a.The Bloggess) was brave enough to tell her secret. So, maybe I can too.

And it’s so incredibly hard to admit to myself, let alone to others. Saying it out loud makes it real. But here goes:

I am depressed.



Filed under Family, More Me, Photos

18 responses to “I Have a Secret

  1. Hang in there. I know it doesn’t seem like it now, but things will get better. Maybe find something to take you mind off of things. Like volunteering, or joining a group. It’ll get you out ant interacting. *hugs*

  2. Bird

    You may not be able to put on your big girl pants yet but, you have your brave girl pants on. Love you always.

  3. South Boston Squirrel Trainer

    as much as being an office monkey sucks, it does typically provide one with at least an 8 hour escape from their own thoughts (good? bad? i’m not sure…). as a self-employed writer, you are in the company of your thoughts 24/7 and you might need to schedule some healthy daily distractions for yourself… like yoga, or a 30 minute walk every day… and hopefully sharing your secret will unload some of the burden as well! also, part of being a brave girl and a big girl is recognizing when you need help… don’t ever be ashamed to seek it from a professional, even if you have the most amazing friends and family in the world 🙂

  4. Cill Davis (@cilldavis)

    I applaud you for being brave enough to post this. It takes a lot of strength, courage, and guts to openly admit your secrets. I, too, am depressed. I didn’t realize to what extent until I completely broke down about 6 months ago. Things have gotten better because I removed myself from the situation and focused on what I could look forward to. Depression is different for everyone. Just remember that you’re never alone. ❤

  5. onlymystory

    You are so incredibly brave to post this. And just know that those friends of that UP girl are your friends too. We love all aspects of you, not just the cheerful sides.

  6. You are the exact opposite of weak. I’ve lived with depression (and it’s bff, anxiety) for over 20 years. I’ve been in therapy, taken medicine, stopped taking medicine, overhauled my lifestyle on multiple occasions. There are plenty of days still where I don’t get dressed, don’t do the dishes, spend hours paralyzed in one place because I just can’t make myself move. It’s a bitch, but it’s not laziness. It’s not weakness. You can’t cure it with a walk, a vitamin, or simple willpower and anyone who tells you otherwise is either sadly misinformed or a self-righteous jerk. What you can do is learn to live with it. There are a lot of different ways to do it, and sometimes you just have to keep trying different ones until you find something that works. Sometimes something will work for a long time, and then suddenly it stops working…so you find something else, and go from there.

    I want to tell you that you’re not being ridiculous. Not ever. You’re not failing, you’re not wasting your life. On a really down day, every single thing you accomplish – a shower, eating lunch, getting one carton of milk from the very closest store- is a victory. It’s so hard, and so difficult to explain to people who don’t need to fight a thousand mental battles every day. I also want to tell you that doing the big things, the dreamed-of things, is not something to rule out, because you CAN do them. You can travel, find and excel at jobs that you love, do everything you’ve wanted to do…these things may just take a little longer, may require some careful strategies, support from friends and family and a certain amount of carpe diem on the days you’re feeling good. With this post, you’ve already taken a huge step towards taking control back for yourself: you’ve acknowledged the monster. You’re owning it. It’s yours, and you’ll deal with it. Because no matter what the little naysayers in your brain might tell you, you are brave, you’re amazing, and you’re strong.

  7. Marcelline Cazz

    Erin, I have the same secret and I hate it. I take meds but they’re often not enough & I don’t want to increase my dosage. Before I was on meds one summer when my husband took the boys to summer camp using my SUV I didn’t even go to the grocery story for a week because I was afraid to drive his car. I was only comfortable in mine. It was familiar. I’m a little better now. I haven’t had a panic attack since I got help, but there are still hard days.

    Husband is traveling this week & asked me to take sons to practice driving for their licenses while he’s gone. I tried yesterday. On the first street past ours I had to tell my son to pull over. I couldn’t do it. I was too nervous. He’s almost ready, he’s got his test scheduled, so I assured him that it wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, it was just me. I had a knot in my chest after a minute or two. And yes, I feel like I failed him. I feel like I should be able to DO these things that normal people do.

    So I know where you’re coming from. I’m right there with you. I know it’s not something you can be cajoled out of feeling. Going new places, meeting new people is so hard that others just don’t understand how I feel. You’re not alone. We’re here for you. When you come out to “play” we’ll be here. When you have to “hide” we’ll wait. Both sides of you are still YOU and we love you!

  8. I don’t have anything to add to what Abby said, ’cause she said it all so well. Just be kind to yourself and do what you need to do. You’re a very brave person. And I admire your strength.

  9. Jen

    Nothing to add except I whole heartedly agree with Abby. It takes courage to admit when something gets bigger than your britches. Most, in fact, do not make it that far. Love you.

  10. Melissa (@haymel112)

    Hugs to you friend! You’re very brave and lucky to have a lot of people who love you. You’ll get through this. Hang in there!

  11. Lucy

    You are loved!

  12. Oh sweetie, I am right there with you. I have suffered from depression for a long time. Making me even more depressed: being unable to afford the co-pays on therapy to try and make it better! Good times.

    I don’t want to ramble on and on here, but you have my email and my twitter. And if you want I’ll DM you my #. I’m always here to talk or cry or yell or ignore it all completely and just discuss how Elena’s awesomeness grows exponentially when she wears a pony tail. No matter what – just know that I love ya, and I’m here for you and you are not alone.

    Thanks for being so brave and sharing this.

  13. Marloes

    I agree with everyone above me. There’s always tomorrow. 🙂 A big bear hug for you my friend!

  14. Dawn (BTSGeek)

    I completely agree with Abby. Just speaking up and naming the beast of depression is huge and very brave! I hope you feel that. As Cill said, depression is different for everyone. You will find what works for you. One thing I know is part of what works for me is to keep reaching out and connecting–I find it helps counteract the “monkey chatter” (negative/anxious thoughts). But again, everyone is different. Big hugs to you!

  15. Pingback: Thanks and Love and All of the Above | winestainedlife

  16. You are wonderful and you are strong. Depression can’t and won’t win. With the Lord Jesus Christ, one is stronger. And he’s always there to receive people who truly want it. That said, I applaud you for putting it out there that you have depression. Things will get better.

  17. Caroline

    Try toremember how rewarding the things you do are, its ok to take a day for just you, but try not to make it a lazy day always, if one of those days turns Into a week. , make a plan for the next day to be about you but for you to get out if the house for you to do something fun. Then maybe reality won’t
    be so hard ti get back to

  18. Love you friend and if you ever need anything, you know where to find me! I always have an open ear. Just remember that you are THE. BEST. EVER. I am so proud of you for being this brave, not a lot of people are able to open up like this, on the internet no less. Inspiring.

    (ps sorry for the EXTREMELY late comment on this post lol)

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