This is going to be a very personal post...
A close friend of mine had recently moved away and he was my shoulder, my comfort and someone who would listen intently. I hadn't really felt lonely until a few days ago. Generally I was pretty happy until I made the 180 degree flip.
Maybe it's the fluctuating thyroid hormones after my radiation treatment a couple of weeks ago that's throwing me off (my doctor warned me about this). Maybe it's the stress of my job. The big day comes tomorrow. Perhaps I'm just short on rest and food.
Or I'm just yearning for another relationship. In any case, I'm in a pretty foul mood come night time. I've been unreasonably upset, crossing my arms, pouting and whining.
Despite my personal experience with mental illnesses and working with Stand Up for Mental Health, I still feel the stigma of mental health affect me. What's worse is that I'm not only unable to admit it to my peers that there may be something wrong, I'm afraid to admit it to myself.
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression. There, I said it. It's not easy to admit it to anyone let alone announce it publicly on the internet. I'm afraid of what people would think of me given the stigma surrounding the issue.
During my days of depression, I heard a lot of "Just get over it," and "It'll blow over. You're just going through a tough time." I thought I wasn't strong enough. I thought I wasn't trying hard enough. I went through a long period of lows and I just couldn't shake it. It held me in a state of paralysis and sadness every moment of the day. Some of my friends were there when I had major mental breakdowns. Some of my friends saw nothing but my fake smiles.
It took the help of health care professionals, medication and cognitive therapy to carry me out of this rut. Since then I had been acutely aware of my emotions and thoughts.
But I've been extremely happy lately. I'm generally in a good mood. Then in a moment I would do a complete changeover into a brooding 12-year-old because of a small issue. This is not a good sign. Again, I'm not sure what the root of it is but I guess I won't be taking any chances. Depression was devastating and I refuse to go through it again.
One of the best skill that I had gained from cognitive therapy was the increased sensitivity to my emotions and thoughts. I'm aware of unusual mood swings that differ from your day-to-day changes in moods. There's an alarm that sounds when I have perpetuating negative thoughts that come out of nowhere. If I allow these to continue, I could be triggering a relapse into depression. I've been warned that it's more likely to reoccur after the first time and that it'll likely be worse. I can't imagine a life worse than what I had gone through.. especially with increased responsibility, the need for independence and other compounding personal issues.
I really hope that I'm able to find a solution soon.