I had a major depressive episode that lasted for years starting from my mid twenties. I was at the lowest point in my life. It was the cliche, hardly could move out of the bed kind of depression. My health took a beating. I isolated myself from everyone. I didn’t want to fight it. Suicidal ideation was the norm. Then I gathered myself slowly. Starting with healthy eating. Even now I am not fully recovered. I managed to sort certain aspects of my life but it is majorly unsorted. Through all this, one thing that I am grateful for is getting to know the actual reason for my depression. I used to blame my incapacity and failure to be financially independent as the reason. I had low self-worth and self-esteem. So I thought my confidence was the reason too. Nope. Now I know for sure why I was depressed.
Before exploring that reason, I want to state that this episode was the first major one but looking back I have always been depressed. Even as a little girl! I don’t remember being happy ever. I have always felt lonely and I used to pride myself that I am capable of being this alone this young. Not now though. I wish I had my own people. I precisely remember two other depressive episodes in my life. One started at age 13 and lasted for a year or so. Another one was at age 20 and that too lasted for a year or so. I didn’t think much of them then or even till very recently. I blamed my age 13 depression on schooling and age 20 one on rejection from a guy I liked. But looking back, these two reasons were not enough to explain the stillness and sadness I felt all through life. I always longed for genuine conversations. I vowed to become a great listener because I never felt heard. I always felt an intense amount of shame and unworthiness. So I made sure I never treated anyone with disrespect. Even then I felt like a burden to everyone and I felt invisible all the time too. What can explain this lifelong emptiness I felt?
That’s when I accidentally read about immature parents and narcissistic parents. The more I read on these topics, the more sense my life made. All the unanswered questions finally found a guide book. I was amazed at how much perfect sense those answers made. But at the same time the answers scared me. I went into denial at first. I never felt that way about my parents. In fact, I used to be proud of them. But more and more memories and instances of my life came back and it perfectly matched with the situations I read in all the books. I could no longer deny their role in my emotional trauma. I am now at the stage where I can accept that as the answer for my depression and work from there.
As part of recovery, I cry a lot nowadays. I embrace my inner child that was left alone all those years back and try to make it feel loved. It is a very gradual process I feel. I am reading on those lines a lot. I am part of groups online where my emotions feel validated. This is just the beginning of a healing journey that could last forever I feel. But I am glad I started at least.