I was recently asked if stigma wasn’t an issue, how far would I be willing to go for help. It’s a good question, a reflective one. One that requires me to figure out what I want from life… do I want to get better, or do I want to die. If no one would judge me because of my “problems” would I be more willing to be hospitalized and get help or would I take a different route. This has been a question I have struggled with since I was a kid. Counselors have tried to tell me, oh I don’t really want to die, I just want to pain to stop. I’ve always questioned that. I guess I believe that even if the pain did stop for some strange reason, it would only be temporary. What’s the point in struggling to get better, if I am just going to fall again? I can’t remember the last time I was happy; so in a way, it’s kind of one of those things where I don’t know what it’s like to be happy. So what am I missing? Heck if I know, or care…
It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that some day I might get better. I might get better, really? What’s that like? Who will I be like if/when I get better? It’s always been something I’ve thought about. I’ve dealt with the depression for so long, that in a way, it defines who I am. I know people say that depression isn’t who I am, but I think that is wrong. Depression affects so much of my personality, who I’m willing to reach out to, who I’m willing to put up with, that to say that depression doesn’t define me is wrong. Even IF I do get better, depression has still defined my life. I have struggled with it for way to long for it not to have.
Back to the question at hand though. What lengths would I be willing to go to if the stigma wasn’t there? I’ve thought about hospitalization for some time, as in years, um, lots of years. Unfortunately, even if the stigma wasn’t there, I would still have to leave my husband and dog behind for the length of the stay. Yes, I know, lame, but still. I would have to leave work for this length, and if I don’t have the sick days, then I would have to take a cut of pay. I would have hospital bills. A five day stay I have little hope for helping, as I am always so slow to trust, and I have no hope medications would work in that short time span. Even a thirty day stay I have little hope for helping. So, what’s the point?
Suicide won’t work either. How fair would it be to leave everything behind, including bills, work, etc just because the pain was too great? How fair would it be for someone to have to find me dead because I couldn’t handle everything everyone else seems to be able to handle alright? So I keep trudging along, wanting the pain to be over, and knowing it won’t go away.
So the bigger question, finances and stigma aside, which choice would I chose. Well, both are there, and aren’t going away, so I’ll just leave that up for you to guess.