Reflection on depression: Carson Donnelly-Fine

Happy anniversary to me, happy sixth year of living with depression and anxiety.

Depression and anxiety mixed together is kind of like an oscillating fan. Like the one in the summer at your grandma’s house that you love to death because it brings you that cool breeze, but then it turns and you’re sweating again. It’s the fear  of going swimming because you know the minute you leave the comfortable spot you’ve made for yourself, your head is going to plunge into the deep end. In its entirety, the combination becomes the total and encompassing fear of the mundane.

Depression and anxiety are in no way great or awe-inspiring; they are ugly things that many people struggle with. It took awhile for me to understand that those years of mood swings, problems with eating and sleeping, over-thinking, and obsessive repetition were things brought on by my disorders. This was just something I couldn’t change. For years it was something I wanted to go away; I was sick of wondering and speculating why of all the people on this planet, I had drawn the short lot. I was angry. I believed everything wrong with me was actually my fault and not the fault of the chemical imbalances in my brain. The thing is though, it’s not my fault. It’s taken years for me to finally be unapologetic. Years to understand that needing help and asking for it is a totally okay thing to do. It’ll never be set in stone but for now, I’m okay with my mental illnesses: we’ve made peace, shaken hands, and given each other Hannukah presents. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them, and somehow that thought is comforting.

So, here’s to the next six years, and the six after that, and the six after that.

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