At some time in our lives everyone has been bullied. From the child with the lisp, to the kid wearing glasses or in my case because my maiden last name is an item of food. Kids always wanted to know if I was related to Burger King or if they can ketchup with a side of Stephanie Berger. Silly things. I was taught to brush it off, that these kids were jealous of something I had that they didn’t. I tell my daughter the same thing now as she is ridiculed for her height, tall and slender for her age. Bullying is worse now with the invention of social media. There is nowhere to hide. It aches my heart for my daughter.
I have a bully in my life still to this day, my biggest bully. This bully lies to me, beats me up emotionally and physically. It laughs at me almost on a daily basis and it has me questioning myself on certain things. I am never away from this bully as this bully lives in my head. My biggest bully… My Depression.
I was first diagnosed as a teenager with Depression. Through the decades, my Depression has grown stronger and bigger like a tumor. That first episode of Depression morphed through the years to Major Depressive Disorder. As defined, Major Depressive Disorder is “…Major Depressive Disorder is a condition characterized by one or more Major Depressive Episodes without a history of Manic, Mixed, or Hypomanic Episodes…” (mentalhealth.com). In my case, we are up to 6 episodes. Each episode has increased my bully’s evilness, has made me believe I was weak, undeserving, unworthy of love. Each time I am weakened by this bully before I can get better.
Depression lies to me. It tells me I don’t deserve to be a mother. I don’t deserve my friends and family. I don’t deserve anything good in my life. It tells me that I am helpless. I am plankton. It tells me I shouldn’t be loved, and that no one in fact loves me. And then it gets to the point where it tells me I shouldn’t live anymore. I have gotten to this last point a few times. I have tried to bargain with Depression… if you let me live, I’ll run away so I don’t hurt the people I love anymore, I am not worthy of their love anyway. If you let me live, I will give in to you and do whatever you want me to, even if that means harming myself.
Depression beats me up. Emotionally, it has me crying over the blame I have for myself. It has me foggy and unable to concentrate. It has me hyperventilate and tense. And after all that, it wreaks havoc on my muscles, with physical aches in my head, shoulders, back and legs.
Depression laughs at me. Seeing my weak achy body, it laughs because it sees victory. It sees itself as a mastermind, a genius, a god. I hear its cackle first thing every morning and it still haunts me as I go to sleep.
And this bully doesn’t battle alone. It has a gang right by its side. It uses its friends… Anxiety, Panic, PTSD… anything to help it leech on to me longer.
I am very weak right now. Worn out. Tired. Exhausted. And empty. Slowly, I am battling my bully. Slowly, I am becoming David to my Goliath. With medication, therapy, exercise. I will upstage my biggest bully, my Depression, but it will take lots of time, and when that time comes, I know it will still be lurking around in the shadows of my brain as it is always with me waiting, just waiting for the next time.