This is a confession. I have been suffering through depression since high school. Mostly existential depression and honestly I didn’t even know I was depressed until about two years ago. I knew there was something different, something wrong but it was easy to hide.
I am a woman of many faces, some are masks I hide behind, others are simply multiple facets of who I am. I have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, depression and I suspect that I have been gifted all along, suffering through imposter syndrome as well.
This is not a poor me confession, this is just a part of who I am. I have finally come to terms with it, after decades of pain and hiding.
I am creative, a perfectionist, wild at heart but reserved because it is what is expected of me. My imagination is complex an intricate but when I am on my medications it is subdued. I don’t know why but when I allow myself to be depressed the creativity that rocks my soul has outlets. I can draw, paint, crochet, write…create.
However, at the same time my executive functions like time management are harder to keep in check, I’m moodier, more likely to internalize feelings and sadder. It’s harder for me to enjoy the smiles of my children, and they smile a lot.
So, because I cherish my family so very much, I take my medicine, I stick to it, religiously. I am happier, I lose weight, my mood swings are relatively calm but I cannot create. I cannot see the brushstrokes in nature. I cannot imagine worlds far away. I literally cannot draw. I cannot focus on details or nuances. My writing stalls, not my blogging, but my creative writing. I am no longer able to describe the universe that hides within the folds of my imagination.
A huge part of my identity is locked within the confines of my mind, unable to speak, unable to be heard. I begin to drown, to suffocate internally while on my medication. All while I walk the walk and talk the talk of someone who has it all together.
So then I stop the medication, not really stopping it but taking it less religiously, less regularly. At that time both worlds meld. I am not prone to yelling rampages, yet I can still write and draw. I feel happy and sad simultaneously. It’s not that the medication is too strong, we’ve gone through that with the doctors…I don’t know what it is.
Something about imperfection soothes me. I’m a walking contradiction. I’m a perfectionist who needs imperfections to survive. I’m a rebel who requires conventional success. I’m a mother who still has to remind herself to be a responsible adult. I’m a confident independent woman who still needs approval, support and reassurance.
Silvia Plath described it as sitting beneath a Fig tree. All of life’s options are fruits hanging from the tree but you can only choose one, the others will whither and drop when your choice is made. But here we sit, letting the fruit spoil on the tree because we cannot choose only one.
Here I sit beneath my tree, motherhood has been chosen for me but I am also so much more. My interests are so varied that to choose one, to choose one piece of who I am is to cut off the rest and let it die. I cannot make that choice.
I rely on my faith, my family, my creativity…to help me as I continue to figure out how to
be, live, feel alive while I am alive.
So for now I’m a depressed mommy, and I’m ok with that. Because for once I’m being true to the world about who I really am under the mask. This is my confession. I will take ownership of it, of me.
My other blog is a collection of creative writings…where Alice falls under the Fig Tree.