Well hello! I'm pleased to report that I've returned from a weekend that was hijacked by depression! IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE!

No, really.

I've been managing my depression very consciously for years now, and still... when it hits, it feels like it might never go away. I found myself sobbing for no discernible reason; my logical brain knew that things weren't as bad as they seem, but my emotional brain ran the motherfucking show. Getting out of bed seemed impossible and I was convinced that staying under the covers and not telling anyone was the best option. My basic activities in life (like showering and laundry) seemed insurmountable, my relationships all of a sudden seemed broken and my life's purpose (yes, all the wonderful things I do) seemed pointless. It's a grim place to be, I'lltellyawhat.

But I like to talk about it.

Why? Because I can. Because I'm not ashamed. And because, as someone that some people look up to, it's important to share that something like this affects me too. It affects me, it affects others, and none of us need to feel any shame about the situation because...

Your depression is not your fault.

Didja hear that? Again: Your depression is not your fault. Hear it that time? Okay good. In the midst of particularly rough night, I posted a FB status that said

"Chronic and crippling depression is the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with, and I've dealt with some SHIT.
Holler if ya hear me!"

After reading the 350 "hollers" that followed, I found myself thinking: Man. I hope all these beautiful people know that this depression stuff isn't their fault.
So I'm here to make sure that you do.

Depression is common. 350 MILLION of us experience it. It affects all ages. All genders. All sexes. All people. It doesn't discriminate. And it's not our fault.

We often hear those who don't understand say things like "Snap out of it." "Try harder" "Get some sleep and you'll feel better." And "If you would just _fillintheblank_ more, you'd feel better." All of this implying that our hurt and pain is bad, shameful, fabricated, or insignificant. Aint true, y'all.

Here is why it's not our fault: we are simply a product of our chemistry and younger experiences, and we cannot control either. We are born into the body that we are, for better and for worse. Our biological makeup dictates a lot of how we see the world.

We are also a sum of our experiences. From the moments in utero to our childhood memories to what we do now- it's all a continuing chain of internalized data that we did not choose. The beginning affects the end and everything in between. As adults now, we can choose how our lives progress, but of course our nature and nurture have set us up with the tools we have.

My point: to feel guilt and shame about a neurological condition that has been out of your control isn't necessary. That's all. So release yourself from that shit, and maybe you'll be able to focus your energy on what you want to see happen now.

I can't love this video more:

If you ever find yourself needing to talk to someone about your depression,  I'd suggest calling this 24 hours hotline: Mental Health Crisis Hotline // Call: 1-800-273-TALK. International hotlines can be found here.

How do you feel about depression? Do you identify with the video? What do you do to feel better? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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