Saturday, January 23, 2021

You're The Expert

Recently, I asked myself a question that I have asked myself several times over the years - Am I really depressed? 

Throughout my life I have read articles, watched videos and even talked to someone about my Dysthymia. There is a part of me that questions what is happening to me and at the same time seeks to understand the situation for which I'm in. There is a massive amount of conflicting information out there. It's easy to understand the confusion about what it means to have Dysthymia.

I think most people never want to look at themselves, understand the way they are. I do. I want to understand why my brain makes me think random things, I want to understand what is happening to me and as painful as it is, admit and face my own feelings, my life. A lot of people just don't want to know. I don't blame them as it's a scary place.  Admitting something is wrong is not a great feeling but it can be liberating.

During my recent adventure of asking a question that I have asked many times, I came to the conclusion that a lot of people online who "claim" to be specialists/doctors don't know a thing. Too many others think they are experts and it's clear that none of them know what it's like to live with something like Dysthymia. They just regurgitate stuff over and over, not once thinking maybe some damn list they're reciting from the 1980's may no longer apply.

I had a discussion with someone, a professional, who talks to plenty of people like me. Even he said himself that there are too many people who claim they know but actually known nothing. This person has known me for sometime. They commended me for continuing to understand Dysthymia. Some people don't want to know about the darkness they are forced to co-habitat with but I want to know. I want to understand myself and how I manage to continue to go to work, do craft projects, read books, etc. all the while living with a cloud over my head.  I am resilient as I find ways to keep going. If a previous coping mechanism that used to work no longer does, I am able to find a new one and put it in my survival tool kit.

I read that calling someone like me "high functioning' was incorrect. I have depression and go to work. I'm functioning. I'm able to walk out into the world and do things. My mind is creative and imaginative. I knit and bake, do other creative endeavors and my mind does chew on solving problems especially at work when I'm doing a round of software testing. How is that not high functioning? 

On the spectrum of depression you could say I'm on the low end but I have experienced the other end as well. It's well in my past but I know what depression is like when you are dealing with suicidal thoughts. Been there, done that, don't want to go through it again.  Seven attempts in four years is nothing to be proud of but it goes to show that even though I wanted to give up, on a deeper level I was fighting to stay. That was four year battle that I'm thankful to be 29 years away from and yet my last attempt remains forever fresh in my mind. 

I know that I'm rambling with this post and that's due to my mind rambling.  I'm scattered today and I'm okay with that. I'm not working so my brain is enjoying the weekend in it's own weird way. It's on vacation. 

There are experts who know their fields no doubt, but when it comes to you, you are an expert. Remember that!

Rock on!
~Maynard










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