Shortly after Christmas, I noticed a shift. I was sleeping less and crying more. I was eating less and yelling more. I was losing motivation. I was losing my drive to write and work. I was missing deadlines. Ignoring deadlines. And I started pulling back; I began pulling away.
But before long, the sadness settled in. It worked its way through my body and lodged itself deep inside — in every joint, in every muscle, and in between every bone. Before long, irritability returned. The rage returned. And before long, the hopelessness returned, too. The feelings of worthlessness. Things started coming apart. I started falling apart.
The next thing I knew, I was shattered and completely broken. It was then that I realized I was deep in the throes of another depressive episode.
But this time, I handled things differently. Instead of trying to fight my feelings, I held them. I embraced them. I allowed myself to feel them. Instead of trying to avoid the truth, instead of hiding my depression from my friends and family, I wrote about it. I talked about it. And so, for the first time in 15 years, I immediately reached out for help.