It is Mental Health Week in Canada.
I’ve spoken a bit about this before, but I don’t suffer from situational depression. I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that is persistent. This means that having a bad day at work or having something bad in my life doesn’t cause bouts of depression. Unfortunately, this also means that when things are going well in my life, I can experience a bad period of depression.
After Annie and I got married, I fell into a really bad depression. My wife has told me more than once, that she found it really hard. Here we are, newlyweds, and all I want to do is bury my head under my pillow and hide from the world. She couldn’t help but feel like it was her fault, and I didn’t have the energy or mental faculties to help her understood that it wasn’t her, or the fact that we were married. I was just depressed. Horrible timing, I know.
When my daughter passed away, I think many people looked at me, holding their breath and expecting me to fall into a bad depression. As sad as I was, I was also acutely aware that everyone was monitoring me so that they could support me if I needed it. It was really hard for me to draw a line between feeling sad about what happened and what my typical depression looks like. I didn’t suffer through my typical type of depression from her passing. I mourned, I was sad, and hurt, but I wasn’t suffering in the same way that I sometimes do.
Recently, my grandmother passed away. Again, I think people were a little concerned I’d fall into a depression. Lots of hard things had been happening. Even I wondered how much negativity my brain could take before I spiralled downwards. It was another horrible experience, but not a trigger for my depression.
Sometimes, I feel depressed. It doesn’t care what is happening in my life. It doesn’t matter how happy or sad that I felt yesterday. It hits me at what feels like random times. I know many people are affected by my depression and worry about me. I wish it was logical and something as simple as saying the right thing, or consoling me during a bad period would be enough to resolve how I felt.
I’m so thankful for my wife and her patience. I know that she has worked hard to understand depression, anxiety, and my struggles with them. It hasn’t been easy, but we support each other through thick and thin, and when she needs me, I find a way to be there for her.