“Depression is living in a body that fights to survive, with a mind that tries to die.”
One thing my dad always says (when referring to my bipolar) that really gets under my skin is, “Well, as long as you’re fighting.” I always want to retort back with, “What do you think I’m doing every second of every day?!” but the few times I’ve done that have just ended in tears.
I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about what it really means to fight depression or bipolar or any symptoms of any mental illness. I can’t speak for, say, schizophrenia or borderline personality disorder, but I can speak for bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.
For me, when I’m suffering from the depressive side of my illness and I DON’T kill myself, that’s me fighting. When I wake up in the morning even though that’s the absolute last thing I want to do in the whole entire universe, that’s me fighting. When I take that breath, or get out of bed, or put on some clothes, or force myself to shower, or any number of tiny, seemingly insignificant things, that’s me fighting. Because that’s what my illness is trying to take from me. So I’m fighting back.
When I’m suffering from the manic side of my illness and I DON’T go spend all the money I want to on all the stuff I want, that’s me fighting. When I try and listen to my husband when he says I’m going overboard, or I’m talking too fast, that’s me fighting. When I reign myself in and try to think rationally even though that’s the last thing my brain wants to do, that’s me fighting.
We can’t understand how much someone is fighting even though to outsiders it looks like they’re doing absolutely nothing. I’ve been called lazy so many times by my parents just because they didn’t understand that I was actually fighting off depression or mania. So I’ve had to explain it to them and they’re much more understanding now.
What’s fighting for you?