My Second Shadow: Life with a Chronic Illness

In case you are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with Major Depression a year ago. It has taught me some beautiful lessons and has also taught me lessons in harsh reality. Major depression comes in episodes and looking back I can say for sure my first episode happened when I was 15 years old. Little did I know at the time, that this thing had a name or that it was based on a chemical imbalance in my brain. That period in my life use to be my deepest darkest secret, until it happened again. My second episode happened when I was 20 years old. By that time, I was a little more educated on what to do because of the psychology classes I took in college. I got a therapist when it became apparent that it had gotten bad again and it was dangerous for me. In between then and the time it got bad again, I realize I doubted it ever went away. It was more like it was always there and that it would have times when it would be worse than others. I would describe the time between 16 to 19 years old to be just this sense that there was this darkness within me and just trying to ignore it.  It was like this weariness and grimness was there, but it wasn’t like it was back when I was 15. I didn’t have that panic or have intrusive thoughts of death.

The reason I am writing about this topic again, is because I am concerned. However, one thing I learned with going through depression at 20 years old is that people tend to minimize my concerns or brush them aside. Or they even say “everyone is like that.” They fail to acknowledge my concerns have weight and that I am different from people who don’t have depression. Therefore, I find it safe to express them on my blog and know that this way of expression does not encounter those problems.

The past few days I have been sleeping too much. WAY too much. Today, I slept for 16 hours and that concerns me. Before I was officially diagnosed and was waiting to be diagnosed, depression was just a guess by a one of my therapists, I use to sleep a lot because I didn’t want to face reality. To me, depression was the worst thing I could have been thought to have. It shook my faith and my sense of what life would be like for me. The reason it shook my faith though, is a story for another time. So because of that I would try to sleep whenever I was bored or didn’t want to deal with things. Sleep was my escape from a maybe diagnosis that scared me so much.

My main concern with my sleeping habits that have been happening this summer is because sleeping those many hours is a symptom of depression. I am afraid it may not be under my control as well as it was before. This morning I woke up and it felt like it took so much energy to just sit up. It felt exhausting to even think of getting up out of bed. It is something many people do not understand. It took so much of a fight for me to get out of bed to take care of the neighbors dogs. I’m also tired all the time again. The medication I am on keeps the horrid monster at bay. However, even with medication, I can still feel it there. It isn’t as all-consuming as it was a year ago, but I can still feel it there. The way I describe it now is that it is a shadow.

The concern I have is something I have to deal with along with my therapist. In my experience, talking to others about my illness isn’t always the best, unless they see me having a breakdown.

The thing with my depression is I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not have this darkness inside of me. If this darkness is what makes me feel so different and feel unsatisfied with others and their trivial pursuits. Or that be just part of my INFJ personality. However, I know foe a fact if I didn’t have a chronic illness I would be different. I would have more achievements and more hobbies. I would probably have more things that are completed and not so many things that are a work in progress. It’s hard knowing that without an illness you could do so much better, but in the end I have to accept my reality and work with it as best I can.


19 Of The Best Quotes That Perfectly Explain What Depression Feels Like

This is a must read!! As someone who has Major Depression, I feel like this is really accurate and could help others in trying to understand what it is like to have depression if someone they know is going through it.

Thought Catalog

Ryan McGilchristRyan McGilchrist

1. “I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” – Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind Of A Funny Story

2. “The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be…

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Brazils $900 million World Cup stadium is now being used as a parking lot – Vox

Just Sayin'

Brazil spent about $3 billion building 12 new or heavily refurbished stadiums for last year’s World Cup. Officials promised these taxpayer-funded venues would continue to generate revenue for years, hosting concerts, pro soccer games, and other events.

But as Lourdes Garcia-Navarro at NPR reports, most stadiums are failing to generate much revenue at all. The most expensive one, in Brasilia, is most regularly used as a site for a municipal bus parking lot.

One big problem is that several of the stadiums — including Brasilia’s 72,000-seat, $900 million venue — were built in cities where there are only minor league pro teams that don’t draw large crowds. This was done so World Cup games could be spread across the entire country, instead of just the southeast, where most of the top pro teams play. It’s as if we built gleaming new stadiums in Montana and Alaska for hosting a…

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Here’s Which Harry Potter Character You Are Based On Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type

I got Dumbledore!

Thought Catalog

ISTJ – You are Harry Potter

Harry PotterHarry Potter

Principled, single-minded and selflessly devoted to the pursuit of justice, Harry was a textbook ISTJ. Though he was not always a fan of the spotlight he’d been forced into, Harry took his role as a warrior against dark magic incredibly seriously. He was prepared to go to any lengths necessary to defend what he believed to be right – demonstrating classic ISTJ conduct.

INFP – You are Luna Lovegood

Harry PotterHarry Potter

Romantic, speculative and perceptive of connections that evaded others, Luna Lovegood was a classic INFP. Though her head-in-the-clouds nature was certainly an exaggeration of the norm for this type, she was anything but shallow or unintelligent. Luna was sharp, fearless and loyal where it mattered – and throughout the Harry Potter series, it mattered a lot.

ENTP – You are Fred and George Weasley

Harry PotterHarry Potter

Clever, opportunistic and mischievous to…

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The One Advantage Anxious People Have Over Everyone Else

Thought Catalog

Flickr / Sarah JoyFlickr / Sarah Joy

Anxious people tend to have weird ticks like biting their nails, stuttering, and fidgeting. But on the upside: they’re apparently smarter than everyone else!

The University in Ontario, Canada conducted a study, surveying 100 students to see how much they worry. The students who have more angst tend to score higher on the verbal intelligence test.

Not to mention, this isn’t the first study on this matter.

In 2012, psychologists from Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya asked 80 students to assess artwork presented by a software program but were set up by the the researchers to activate a computer virus seemingly by accident. An actress then would attempted to get technical support. The students who were more anxious proved to be the ones who focused on fixing the virus.

So yes, you may be a worry-wart but lucky you! Seems as though it’s a sign of great things…

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