I’ve been holding onto these photos and parts of this post while I suffer a severe depressive episode these last couple of weeks. Touching the topic is so painful, like recoiling from a hot stove.
I want to admit that I have depression, that you can be smart and hard-working and depressed, no matter how hard you work not to. Hoping to help erase the stigma.
I don’t want to admit that I have depression, to avoid what people might think of me, my friends, my co-workers, my future employers. I’m pretty sure it’s considered bad branding to admit you have a mental illness; that you don’t wake up every single day with go and vive, full of energy and marketing insights.
I’m lucky – have decent insurance that covers my great therapist who works nearby and pile of meds, a super supportive husband, the experience of having gotten through one of these before, having depression and not a more stigmatized mental illness – and yet there are days after days that I drag myself through.
And there are days after days that I don’t. All of those things make me a healthier person, able to wake up with go and vive, happy for all the adventures the day might hold.
I can’t even imagine what would happen if that suddenly all disappeared on me one day. If I depended on this city-run clinic for my care, which was closed because of “lack” of funds. I would drown in the anxiety of such changes and I can’t imagine that these people aren’t.
And yet they protest. Chalking a building is such a simple thing, not so hard to do, but such a statement. This used to be our savior, now it’s just another empty storefront in our neighborhood. Chicago might be short of money, but we all need, we all deserve, to get help. Help to get us through the day without crying or panic, with the peace of the southern wind.