Depression takes a toll on life. It costs to be depressed…and I don’t mean solely in terms of money, but in time. But don’t they say time is money. You lose out on things because depression takes time. It takes time to realize you’re suffering from this malady, it takes time to accept it, it takes time to accept you need help, it takes time to get an appointment, it takes time waiting for your turn, it takes time to find a medication that works, it takes time to go through the therapy sessions and it takes time for the medication and therapy to start working.
Sadly, in today’s fast paced life, we don’t always have that kind of time and while you go through this process, life can pass you by. Heck, while I was waiting for my turn at the therapist’s office, my friends all got jobs, got married and had kids. And I am still here, waiting.
There is another dimension to this, on a micro level or a daily level. Everyday of depression, when you’re not getting out of bed, when you’re not feeling energetic enough to do anything, when your brain isn’t working all that well, you end up wasting time. This feeling of having wasted precious time hangs over your head, inciting the guilt. The guilt of having wasted days on end, being unproductive, makes it even harder to get up and do something. The cycle repeats itself over and over each day. As the hours and days pile on, the difficulty increases and the anxiety takes over. The anxiety makes everything ten times worse.
You get stuck in this vicious cycle and it seems impossible to get out. You start hating yourself, feeling worthless and think you’ll never achieve anything. That’s the kind of state I find myself in today. It’s freaking me out. The funny thing is, I know this feeling all too well. I’ve been through this cycle before.
I am currently on summer break and I was supposed to do so many things. I am taking a very important exam in a couple of months, an exam vital to my career and I needed to prepare for it. I am starting the third semester of my master’s program in twenty days, and I was supposed to have narrowed down a research topic. I had so many personal goals I had set my mind to. What I did end up doing? Nothing. Zero. Nada. And it’s scary. I don’t want to ruin everything again. I am so close to achieving my goals, I am afraid I’ll wreck it all.
It’s so very hard to pull yourself out of this vicious cycle. I try to force myself to work. I try and I fail. I try to distract myself from this feeling of dread in my chest.
I know the answer. I know how to get out of this roller coaster ride on repeat. It’s setting small goals. Taking baby steps. One step at a time. If only I can take the first. I know if I manage to do one thing, it’ll make me feel better and I can build on it.
I know I need to give myself time to feel better, to heal, to bounce back from this episode. I know the energy and the will to work will come back, but it will take time, oh but…..Time I don’t have.