On March 11th of this year, I finally told my family I’m depressed. I left out the part I’ve attempted suicide many times but I guess my mother, specifically, figured out that I have since she took away my dissecting kit and hid it. (Although her efforts are futile since I found it and know where she’s hiding it.) I’ve told them but they don’t understand.
A while ago, I read this article from Upworthy: 13 Unusually Spoken Tips If Your Loved One Struggles With Depression. I wished that so much of the things written on this article were said and done to me by my parents and my sisters. When I went to Cebu last week for the Holy Week, I knew that the things that happened almost three weeks ago will be brought up. Everytime they mentioned it, I wanted to scream. To tell them to stop because I feel more isolated than ever because they make fun of it, they make fun of me. I know it’s all an attempt to brighten up the mood. I do it sometimes, too. I make jokes to myself about my struggle with depression and anxiety. But somehow when my sisters do it, it’s a little offensive. Maybe because they haven’t quite grasped the idea yet. Maybe because I know that they want me to get better but they refuse to understand what I’m actually going through. Maybe because I feel like I can only joke about my situation because it’s mine and not theirs.
My sisters have told me to be happy, to think of positive thoughts as if I chose to be depressed. I already wrote it in a letter that sometimes I can’t control my mind. Depression just comes without a warning. I did not choose this. I would never choose this because when depression keeps coming back I just want to smash my head to the wall so that I completely stop hearing my demons. I wish they don’t tell me to stop making “drama” or stop being emotional. I can’t get over this. When I asked them not to tell me that “it’s all in my head”, they rejected it. They insisted that it really is all in my head.
My sisters told me to get out of the house, to mingle with other people, but it made my anxiety worse. They don’t understand that I’m not just depressed. Anxiety works along depression, and to make things more complicated, I’m an introvert. I don’t do “mingle”. As much as possible, I’d like to be in a small circle of people. They don’t understand that the only reason I finally opened up is that I just needed someone to give me a hug or maybe just a pat in the back. I just really needed someone to lean on because depression, on that day, became too unbearable. I didn’t need anyone to give me advice on how to get over it (because again, I can’t over it). I just needed someone to help me get through that episode without uttering a single word.
I hate it when my mother forces me to talk about what’s going on. I just need them to know that I need time for myself and to be ready to tell them what’s going on. I hate it even more because one of my sisters compared her struggles to mine. Like I know, you’re the oldest child so you had it rough. There were a lot of expectations from you because, well, you’re the first child. You were expected to help the family financially. I get that you don’t like dramas, that you never asked help from our parents in dealing with your issues. What I was getting from her was that she didn’t like that I was “creating drama”. It seemed as though she was telling me that I’m weak. After all, she texted the words, “be strong”. When she said those words to me, it felt like my feelings were invalidated. But she and I are different people. Her struggles are different from mine. We’re both different people who think differently and see the world differently. She definitely did not help in the cause of making me feel better. Instead, she just gave a helping hand to my companions depression and anxiety.
Why am I writing this? Maybe because I need to let out steam. To be honest, I don’t know if I still want them to understand my situation. A friend told me once that in order for my family to understand my depression, they’d have to widen their perspective. Well, I’m too tired for anything. Perhaps, I wouldn’t care if they won’t understand me at all. Perhaps, in my funeral because I ended my life too early, there will be only one person who had ever understood me. And it’s no one in my family.