Depression and anxiety can be humiliating illnesses to live with. Due to a wide variety of social factors, the way we’re raised, the media, having an ongoing condition that constantly undermines you but has no outward showing symptoms is something that is still not properly understood and accepted.
Sometimes I feel having depression and anxiety is about learning to live with constant humiliation.
It is humiliating to have to ask for more time on an assignment or project because you’ve suffered a low, or an attack, and have been left unable to concentrate for hours, days, weeks on end.
It’s humiliating to have to quit your job, or get fired from your job, because you have called in sick too many times, or have been late because it has taken you two hours to get out of bed.
It’s humiliating to have to justify what seems, to many, to just be laziness.
It’s humiliating to see the resignation on an employer, or teacher’s face when you approach them and you can see ‘what excuse is it this time’ written all over their face.
It’s humiliating to constantly have to justify yourself to others when you struggle to justify you to yourself.
It’s humiliating to sit in your pajamas and stare at your clothes and wonder if you can manage to pull on a pair of jeans, or wash your hair, or brush your teeth, or cook yourself something for dinner rather than just get take out.
And that humiliation that we inflict on ourselves is unfair. I think it’s really important people understand that. If I had cancer, and was unable to work, or if I was in a wheel chair, and was struggling, if I had broken my wrist and so was struggling to type and do work, this would be considered more acceptable then someone with depression or anxiety in the same situation. People would understand; they are struggling but they can see why.
It’s humiliating when people think that you are your sickness, and that this is something you are controlling.
But that’s not my fault, or yours, if you suffer from the same illness.
Because that’s what it is; it is an illness. And it is not your fault you are sick, and that this sickness affects your life.
And it should not be humiliating, because it is not. Your. fault. If you are sick, and you manage, against every damn thing your mind and body throw at you, to get out of bed, then you are winning.
If you are sick, and you stay in bed and watch tv or go on the internet all day because you need to feel safe so you do not hurt yourself, then you are winning.
If you are sick, and you are struggling with an assignment and you ask for more time, knowing that you may have to explain something that you find embarrassing, but asking anyway, then you. Are. Still. Winning.
And I don’t know you, but I love you for that.