I used to love myself. I used to take care of myself and enjoy myself. I’d get dressed up, dolled up, and feel good, just because.
I don’t do that anymore. And I know why: I have depression. And that’s what depression does. It saps the joy from what we love until we’re not sure if we ever loved it to begin with. It messes with not only our emotions, but our memories. It’s a trickster.
And I know this, objectively. I can parrot these words out like holy scripture.
But depression is a charismatic asshole. It’s like having an emotionally abusive partner who lives in our heads. It convinces us that everything is our fault. I become convinced that all of my sadness is my fault.
So, I wonder: What changed? What am I doing different now compared to the last time I was happy?
- Oh, I have a job now. I must hate my job.
- Oh, I’ve gained weight. I’d be happy if I were skinny.
- Oh, I live with my partner. We must not be compatible.
But my job is actually great, I was still sad before I gained that weight, and my partner is literally the most supportive person I’ve ever met. Those things did not make me depressed; the depression prevents me from finding the inherent joy in those things.
I need to remember that. Any changes to my mental state will not come externally. Changing one (or more) of those things, may provide me a temporary relief, but will not fix my true problem:
I have a monster living in my head and I need to get it out.
What I need to do instead, is make my head an inhospitable environment to this beast. Depression feeds off of listlessness and lethargy, off of darkness and negativity. So, what I need to do is fill my head with positivity and light, get up, get out, and do something.
And serve that motherfucker an eviction notice.