When people think of Washington State, they think of mountains, evergreen trees, and rain. While all of these things are true, Washington has a dark side. We are the state with the highest rates of suicide and depression. Rates of diagnosis for depression are on the rise, here, too. Most of these come from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, which is another name for Seasonal Depression, and describes a time every year that depression arises.
I love living in Washington State. It’s full of color and beauty in ways you’ll never see in other states. We have desert, rainforest, plains, mountains, and pretty much every biome of which you can think. Last summer, I had breakfast by a river; lunch by a glacier lake; and a sunset dinner on the beach with my toes in the sand. It’s an amazing places to live, but can be trying.
My family is riddled with Clinical Depression, also known as Major Depression. It’s different from Seasonal Depression because it is constant and, while we have good days, it isn’t something that goes away for the majority of the year. Winter and fall do make clinical depression worse for us, though, so there are elements of SAD in that I can handle it most of the year. Then the sun goes away. That’s the biggest issue is that the sun goes away, so I try to take vitamin D3 and eat better (besides the holidays), but it still happens.
There are days where I can function perfectly, but all I can think about is hanging myself. Don’t freak, don’t panic. I don’t need sympathy, I’m just trying to put what I’m trying to say in perspective. I want you to know where my mind is.
The days when I can function perfectly normally an still think about suicide on repeat are considered good days. Bad days are very bad. Bad days may mean I don’t feed myself because a small part of my mind hopes I’ll just starve. It may mean I won’t talk to anybody for weeks, if I can. My anxiety makes it worse, too, by causing me to throw up when I’m stressed so I wake up to a really bad day and I begin to lose weight.
So I have Little Victories. Small things I can do each day to make myself feel less like a failure. Posting here can be a little victory sometimes. Sometimes they’re even smaller, like getting out of bed, doing my makeup, taking a damn shower. Now, I don’t text my mom each time like, “MAMA I AATE TODAY!”. No. But it helps ME get up and actually accomplish the shit I need to get out and do.
I hope that makes sense. Little, personal victories to keep you going are very healthy if you have a mental illness. As somebody with Depression, anxiety, and PTSD, my victories are sometimes very small. I’m not trying to whine or get attention or anything, I just want somebody, anybody, to feel a little better and that they’re not alone.
I hope you all keep yourself well this upcoming rainy season.