Maybe You’re Mentally Ill, Or Maybe You’re Depressed Because Everything Is Terrible

The past year has been a real doozy, right?

And I’m not just talking about the pandemic, or the civil unrest, or the beloved celebrities dying, or the fucking election. Apart from all the crazy shit we went through collectively, I’m pretty sure that everyone individually had a hellish year in some form or another.

For me, the really low points of 2020 were: my mom getting cancer (again), having to postpone a wedding and honeymoon, cutting off a longtime friendship “over politics”*, dealing with bigotry from a family member, and not getting to go home for Christmas for the first time in my entire life due to the endless goddamn quarantine.

*returning readers are aware of how I feel about this turn of phrase. Hint: it starts with “absolute” and ends with “bullshit”.

As I said, a real doozy of a year.

So it’s probably not surprising to hear that from December of 2020 up until the time of writing, I have been in the. worst. depressive. funk. Like, way worse than the usual “anxiety-disorder-backswing-depression-&-standard-millennial-nihlism-combo” that I deal with most of the time. No, this has been some premium, high-octane, grade-A depression.

The silver lining is that having a totally different kind of mental health crisis for once got me thinking a lot about mental health in general; specifically, I’ve been trying to pay more attention to how much the way I think and feel is inspired by internal factors, versus external factors.

See, I realized that I’ve gotten so used to thinking of “being depressed” as synonymous with “having clinical depression” that I sort of forgot that you can be legitimately depressed just because you suffered the misfortune of being trapped in the hellscape of 2020.

And then I realized that this also applied to my anxiety- I’ve gotten so used to having an anxiety disorder, and knowing that I had to calibrate for it, that I forgot that it’s totally normal to occasionally get anxious about certain things.

So I guess the thesis here is that, in a weird way, 2020 being such a bad year that it gave me depression helped me realize that my anxiety was previously way more under control than I usually give myself credit for?

….yay?

Anyway, I’m hoping that the end of the quarantine being in sight and winter slowly fading out is going to be what it takes to snap me out of the aforementioned depressive funk- but the realization that maybe it’s not the end of the world to fall into a pit of sadness sometimes helped a lot, too.

And I’m betting that I’m not the only person having a rough time of it right now- so my message to everyone else in the same boat is…well, I guess it’s “Hey, we’re all in the same boat.”

Anyway, keep your chin up. Maybe everything is complete trash, but at least that means it’s not you!

Author: Bryanna Doe

Author, storyteller, comedian, songwriter.

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