I live with a debilitating disease. I can walk fine, talk fine, and almost all of my organs are fully functional. Everything is fine except the chemicals in my brain. And sometimes those chemicals work well and it doesn’t seem like I have an illness at all, but at other times, I’m far too close to death than I want to be.
As writer Jenny Lawson would say, “depression lies.” And it lied to me last night.
It lied to me enough to get angry at my mom. It lied to me enough to yell at her and project my problems and feelings on to her. It lied enough for me to drive home angrily, run upstairs sobbing and heaving for breath, straight to my bedroom where I took out the dozens of pills I’ve been hoarding and clumped them all into my hand. It lied enough for me to look at those pills in my hand and say that there wasn’t enough in this world to live for.
I sat on the floor, in front of my bed, crying and looking at the copious amounts of Xanax and Tylenol 3’s. I wasn’t sure if I would overdose, or just be extremely relaxed, but either way, I contemplated chewing up the handful for a good 15 minutes.
But I talked myself out of those lies. And I told myself truths.
There are dozens of people in my life that I don’t want to go without right now. Including three cats. Including a wonderful special someone. Including my mom. Including my friends. Including myself.
I told myself that I still have a book to write.
And I do.
For those who struggle with anxiety and depression, just remember that your brain is a big, fat, meanie liar. Moment by moment is the only way we can cope sometimes. There may be times that friends or family are not going to help your situation and you will have to rely on the strength inside yourself. It is there. It is real. That strength that is inside of you is the only truth you can focus on sometimes, and sometimes it’s not there enough.
That’s when things get real. That’s when these situations happen. We cut ourselves, pull out our hair, pick at our skin, beat ourselves up, overdose, drink, do drugs, do anything to cope. To stay alive.
Because depression is a very good, very persuasive, very intuitive liar. Someone once said “liars need to have good memories,” and your mind knows all of them. And anxiety likes to take what depression says and make it all too real, put it right in front of your face and blame you for something that you cannot control sometimes.
But focus on that strength, dear reader. Even if that strength is a flickering pilot light in the furnace of your soul. Let it flicker. Focus on that light. Don’t let your light dim. Don’t let depression’s lies dim your light. Keep fighting. And if you need a few matches to help your light reignite, I won’t judge you for it.