Stolen Valor

I started taking medication for depression and anxiety this year. I'm in a really great place now, but it got pretty bad for a minute there. I didn't realize just how far I had fallen, and I had spent months telling myself that it was just “passing sadness” or “minor burnout” and that I didn't have the right to call it “depression.”

It was a strange place to be in. It wasn't that I didn't believe mental health disorders existed. Quite the opposite—I knew they were real and sympathized with folks who were struggling, but never even considered I could be suffering, too.

I didn't want to label myself as “having depression” because I didn't feel like I had... earned it? Like I knew how much other people were struggling and I didn't want to seem like I was making my own problems heard “over” theirs. I didn't feel like I had the right to call it what it was. I didn't want to cross that line, as I had spent so long building up how other people must feel in my head, almost as if it were myself trying to justify why I shouldn't think about it further.

That was very much the wrong call. It meant that my situation had to deteriorate to an extreme before I even acknowledged how bad it really was.

Things are going very well now so that's good. But like. Dang.

Take a beat and listen to your body. And give yourself a break while you do so.