My Depression’s Name is Leslie and She’s a C%&$

Warning, this post contains profanity.

Depression is my frenemy. She pretends like she has my back, but she spends her entire time making me feel like less than shit. She’s been silent for a year so when she came back into my life, she had a lot to say and none of it was good.

“I don’t hate you ‘cause your fat. You’re fat ‘cause I hate you!” ~ Mean Girls

It’s been a rough six months. A conversation with a friend gave me an idea. She gave her depression a name. This made perfect sense to me, because depression is like that loser “friend” that you can’t shake. Listening to her talk about the bitch in her life was exciting. Wow! She took control and called that bitch out!

So I wracked my brain for about 3 seconds and came up with the name Leslie. Leslie is such a c%&$.

Long Story Short

I’ve suffered from depression for decades. I thought I was just really sad and my life sucked. It took a very dark day when I couldn’t stop crying for me to realize that I needed help. I got it, life continued to suck, then it gradually got better. It took a year for me to start seeing life through a new set of shades. Turns out that everyone’s not out to get me and some people are just assholes.

And then I relapsed.

Leslie Loves My Triggers

Leslie stayed pretty quiet after my bout in therapy. It was refreshing. Turns out that I’m not stupid, ugly, fat, a joke, and people actually do like me. I didn’t realize that Leslie was just sitting back waiting for someone to push one of my triggers.

• I don’t like being embarrassed.

• I don’t like when people misunderstand me and won’t allow me to clarify.

• I don’t like when someone won’t pay me money they owe me.

• I don’t like being lectured like I’m a child.

• I don’t like unsolicited feedback.

My triggers aren’t unique. Most people share the same disdain for these situations; the difference is that when these experience enter my wheelhouse, I fold into a ball of misery; tangled up in feelings, insecurities, and sadness.

It started last year when someone embarrassed me on social media. I was humiliated by someone I respected and that’s when Leslie stood up, stretched for an uncomfortably long time, and smiled her deceptively sweet smile at me…

• You’re so stupid.

• I tried to tell you that you should have never posted that on Facebook.

• That’s why no one likes you.

• How can anyone take you or your blog seriously?

• What’s up with all the weight you’ve gained? You’re so fat.

• You’re so ugly.

• You’re a joke and everyone is laughing at you.

And on and on this Mean Girl Mantra went in my head. Thanks to therapy, there were days when I could ignore Leslie, sometimes I could distract myself so I couldn’t hear her, but she was always there getting louder and louder.

So I Gave that Bitch a Name

When my friend told me about naming her depression, a light bulb blew up over my head. EUREKA! THAT’S IT!!! I named my depression Leslie. She’s named after a real woman who sent me a two page email that boiled down to “you’re a joke and we laugh our asses off about what an idiot you are all the time.” Leslie is a living, breathing c%&$ and the perfect namesake for that monkey that’s been riding my back for decades.

Now I can say “that’s just Leslie,” and ignore the c%&$, because she’s a bitch and a liar. Just this week, Leslie has been up to her old tricks and they nearly worked.

• Leslie tried to convince me not to go see my friends in Arizona.

• Leslie wants me to stop blogging, because mean people will attack me.

• Leslie doesn’t want me to go see my friend, “nice Leslie,” today in Seattle.

• Yesterday Leslie said that I’m fat and disgusting. I wear a size six!

Leslie is a c%&$.

It Rubs the Lotion On its Skin

Leslie is now in a closet. I took glee in wrapping her up in duct tape, putting gum in her hair, and locking her in a dark closet. She’s pissed, but I can’t hear her. I may have to lock her back in there later today or tomorrow. I’ll do it as often as I need to so that I can focus on my joy.

Leslie has taken up too much of my time, distracting me from my dream of becoming the Shonda Rhimes and Oprah Winfrey of the pet blogging world. What’s the phrase? Leslie no longer gets to rent space in my head rent free.

I’ll still be sitting on my therapist’s couch on Tuesdays.

Thank God for good friends, because this has been a rough few months.

This post is dedicated to the wonderful woman who took time out of her day to help me by sharing her story. Thank you. Naming my depression was actually fun!

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