READER REPORT:

I have depression, and that's okay

NICOLA GERRY
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2013

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Depression, I have it. And that's okay.

It doesn't make me whiny, or an attention-seeker, or a loser. It's not a reflection of my character, my life choices, or the people in my life. It just happened. And that's okay.

I'm on medication for my depression. It doesn't make me a drug-hunting stoner or lessen me. It's not a crutch or an 'easy way out'. Taking meds doesn't mean I'm weak. I need it because I'm ill, fullstop, that's all there is to it. And that's okay.

I will have my bad days when I slip back into that black hole and having to choose between juice and water can bring me to tears. When I don't eat all day because it's easier than having to make a choice or go through the motions of being a living person. When I doubt myself, my worth, and my place in this world. When I think things are hopeless, there's no way up or out, and I am convinced that I am the lowest form of humanity ever to exist on the whole wide planet. On those days feeding and watering myself is an achievement that takes the same effort as scaling Everest.

On not-so-bad days, I can get up, get dressed, and even eat. I might even make conversation, play sports, or laugh with friends. I might leave the house and go into town. Sometimes when I'm walking across the crossing, the green man winking back at me and the lines of cars waiting impatiently, I smile to myself and think: "I don't care what you think of me, people in your cars being all adult and functional. I'm dressed. I'm out of the house. And that is an achievement and a half, so rack off!" (Seriously though, if you could bottle that feeling, I guarantee you'd bankrupt every drug pimp from here to Kaitaia).

I have depression. I have ups and I have downs. I have doubts and hopes and fears. And that is okay. Because like that children's story about the bear hunt goes, can't go over it, can't go under it, can't go around it, got to go through it!

It's going to take time. I'm going to have setbacks and breakthroughs, highlights and lowlights. It's going to take longer than I would like and there'll be more than one time when I'll get embarrassed at how excited I am at making such miniscule steps. But that's okay. Because I'm going to get better. It will just take time.

I'm a twenty-five year old chickadee from New Zealand. I prefer Vegemite to Marmite, adore sci-fi, have delusions of writing grandeur, and am a force to be reckoned with on a netball court.

I am a person, warts and all.

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My name is Nicola Gerry and I have depression, which is totally alright.


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