Disabled and Thriving

Overcoming obstacles in an able-bodied world.

Fighting A New Kind of Disability

Has my disability made it harder to cope with depression?

I'm sitting here at the doctor's office, and it's all I can do to keep myself from crying. Right here in front of these seemingly unsuspecting people. People reading Good Housekeeping. People just going about their days, about their lives. They'll probably leave here and not even remember that they almost became my human Kleenex. They probably don't even notice it now.

But can they tell? Is it ever-so-plainly written all over my face? One dead giveaway: My eyes are probably swollen and red from crying this morning. It seems I can't stop crying these days. I cry every morning. While eating breakfast. While I'm brushing my teeth. While I'm folding the laundry. While I'm trying to get some writing done.

The tears just come in floods, and honestly, I feel sort of powerless to stop them. They feel stronger than my will to stop them. Or maybe I don't want to stop them? Maybe I just want to let out all my emotions.

But surely, crying all the time isn't healthy, is it? What would a world look like in which we all went around wiping our noses, tears streaming down our faces?

I just can't seem to move from this spot I'm in now. It's a quicksand of sorts. I want to move. I'm desperately trying to look ahead into the distance, but all I see is more of the same: sadness, anxiety, fear. It's a chilling prospect when you think about it. I used to be such a fighter, and I'm slowly learning that the term fight as it applies to physical and mental health are two very different things. I'm used to dealing with ailments when it comes to the physical realm of medicine. Those things were a piece of cake. I had a physical problem, went to the doctor, had a surgery and "boom," I was all better.

Well, I'm slowly learning it doesn't exactly work like that where mental health is concerned. Sadly, there's no quick fix, no magic pill that will take all my pain away. I'm railing against this with all my might. I don't want to have to accept that this is the way things are going to be, at least for awhile. I don't want to accept that, but to a certain degree, I am powerless. I've never been powerless when it comes to my health, so why should I have to start now?

I just want to be back to my old self, but I know that is going to take a lot of work. And I'm just not talking about a lot of medicine here. I'm going to have to do some real soul-searching. It will be hard, but as my wise mother says, and this is what got her through the dark days after my father's suicide, "the only way out is through."

So I'll at least try to take baby steps through these murky waters, probably plopping a few of my tears in said waters along the way, and see where these steps take me.

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Melissa Blake is a normal 20-something living with an abnormal disorder.

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