I get impostor syndrome with my depression
For the full experience, listen to Nothing New, Taylor Swift
I thought it would get easier to ask for help, but it never really does. I thought it would get easier to admit when I’m really struggling, as I’ve said it times before, and it shouldn’t come as that much of a shock, but it’s just as difficult today as it was at eighteen.
I haven’t written a newsletter in about two months. I haven’t written many articles either and barely worked on my novel. I could lie and say that I’ve been busy; enjoying summer, travelling, doing Instagram-worthy things. But the truth is that I’ve been in the deepest bout of depression that I’ve had in years. I managed to avoid a drastic mental health dip during Covid lockdown, only to be hit with one in 2022, when everything is supposedly better.
It took me too long to admit that I was in the dark place again. First to myself, as the rare good days made me doubt myself. Was I really in a depressive episode if I felt happy yesterday? I have impostor syndrome about my depression, and I’m telling you this because I have a strong feeling that I’m not the only one.
It took a while, but I managed to tell a close friend. She didn’t provide the answer, but I didn’t need her to; I knew what I needed to do. Her support and empathy gave me the strength to sign up for therapy again.
It feels like a failure to be returning to therapy after two years out of it. It feels like a failure to be struggling with my depression for no discernable reason. Having it occur during summer was the cherry on top of my mental illness sundae. Everyone around me is thriving and all I can do is survive.
But as cliche as it is, things got so much easier once I told someone, anyone. That when a family member then asked how I was doing, I could reply with the truth. That I’m not doing well. That I’m just getting through each day. That I need to go back to therapy because this is too much for me to carry. That I need some time, space, and compassion. I’ll be okay but right now I’m not, and that has to be okay too.
Depression will convince you that you’re wrong for feeling this way and that you’re the only person to ever feel like this, but it’s a liar. And when we admit that we’re struggling, we not only give people the chance to help us, to understand us, but also the space to admit when they need a hand. There’s always a way out of the darkness, but you won’t find it alone.
“How long will it be cute, all this crying in my room?
When you can’t blame it on my youth
And roll your eyes with affection
And my cheeks are growing tired
From turning red and faking smiles”
Listen: I’ve had Sabrina Carpenter’s latest album, ‘emails I can’t send’, on repeat for several weeks now. It’s sweet, personal and catchy — sometimes that’s all you need.
Read: I enjoyed ‘Conversations on Love’ by Natasha Lunn so much I wrote a whole article on it. This collection of interviews covers every type of love as well as the other side of that coin: loss. It’s a moving read that has something for everyone.
Watch: I’ve watched it three times and recommended it to anyone who will listen: Not Okay. It’s a thought-provoking and yet somehow comedic look at influencers, social media, mental illness, and cancel culture. Available on Disney+.
Depressive Episodes Feel Worse in Summer
“Rationally, winter should be my worst time, but it’s not. Despite an appalling lack of vitamin D, I can get through winter for the most part. No, my true season of struggle is summer, time and time again. I go through the most intense depressive episodes in summer, and they manage to also feel so much worse.”
What Would a BPD Character Look Like in a TV Show?
“Until now, the only confirmed portrayal of Borderline Personality Disorder is in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’, an amazing show by Rachel Bloom. And while she did a terrific job in representing BPD, I want more. I want to be able to sit down with the people I love and have them watch a TV show that captures the BPD experience so I can say, “That’s how I feel! That’s what it’s like!”
7 Common Misconceptions About Writing Novels
“Writing is not glamorous. The glass of whisky is actually your sixth cup of coffee which is sending you into jitters. Everyone else is outside enjoying the sunshine, while you’re writing another manuscript that will lightly never see the light of day. Your desk is littered in notes that don’t make any sense, and now that you think about it, your novel doesn’t make much sense either.”
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