I went to the doctor today. I’ve been meaning to go for nearly a year, but I’m a procrastinator when it comes to my health. I’m overly proactive when it comes to doing things for my family, for SUMYT or for my friends, but when it comes to me… I suck.
For the better part of my adult life I’ve struggled with depression. There. I admitted it, (almost) openly. …and I’ve been feeling low lately, low enough that it’s scared even me. So I went to the doctor today to get some help. I mean, you’d go to the doctor if you had a persistent tummy ache, or you broke a bone, right? One of the therapy techniques I’ve been assigned is to find one thing each day, that brought me joy. One thing worth recording, remembering and hanging on to. So that’s what I’m going to do with this blog. Keep track of those one things.
Today’s one thing: doctors.
There are a lot of medical professionals out there that treat depression like it’s a choice. Like people wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Self, I want to sit on the couch, stare out at a world I desperately want to belong to, wallow in self-loathing and watch a mental movie of my 100 greatest failures, on repeat.” Depression isn’t about feeling down. It’s about being paralyzed – trapped in a jail your mind designed around all of your weaknesses. When I was about 15 I had a doctor that told me I needed to just get over being sad because life was moving on and if I didn’t choose to be happy, I was going to be miserable my whole life. “Choose to be happy.” If only, right? So to my doctor who listened to my hurt and my fear and said, “We’re going to figure this out together,” I say, thank you. Doctors who treat mental illness seriously and with compassion are my one thing for today.