We’re doing an OHS unit in class at the moment and talking about risk assessment. Today, offhand, my teacher said (PARAPHRASED) “You know, depression is also another risk we may have to deal with. Depression can be just as debilitating as being in a wheelchair.”
I always sit quietly when we start talking about stress and burnout in class and just think about it, while everyone else is making jokes about ‘psychological risks’ hurrrr.
I think most of the people in my class know I’ve got clinical depression and generalised anxiety disorder. It’s not a secret. Although when I talk about last year or my mental illness with my friends, I tend to downplay it a lot. I try to make a joke out of it. I try to make depression funny, because I guess I don’t really want people to know how fucking deep in it I was.
My depression isn’t as much of an issue as it was last year. I’ve turned a corner, I guess. My medication’s been halved. My psych signed off on my papers for Japan with no problems. I no longer wake up in the morning and want to die. I don’t find myself just randomly bursting into tears and having a panic attack anymore. I can leave the house without feeling like the world wants to destroy me. Fuck, I’m able to now go to a shop and BUY THINGS and maybe even have a little conversation with the shop assistant without wanting to curl into a ball and die because I am so awkward, so painfully awkward and ugly. I no longer spend entire days staring at the ceiling, empty and numb, slow as molasses. I feel like people kind of maybe sort of like me. I’m constantly pushing the boundaries of what I’m comfortable with, in terms of interacting with people, dealing with conflicts and just generally living. I’m holding down a course, getting ready to relocate overseas to work, I find myself constantly doing things that eight months ago would have been impossible.
Last week I had an altercation with another girl in my course and I think if it had happened twelve months ago, I would have just dropped the course and stayed in my room for weeks. Simple as that. But now I’m a bit stronger and instead of doing that I was able to face her and just… get over it, I guess.
It’ll always be there. But some days it seems further away than ever, I guess.