Chapter 2

So, that return to blogging went well, didn’t it?

Right. Take 2. Once more, with feeling…

It’s been an eventful couple of years. Lots of seismic shifts. I’m divorced, I have a dog, I’m in a serious relationship with a very nice guy, my job got redefined and really REALLY busy, and there’s lots of major family stuff going on, both good and bad.

Also, I just turned 39. THIRTY. NINE. YEARS. OLD. I know it’s cliché, but staring down the barrel at 40 is a wake-up call. There’s a LOT I thought I would have done by now but haven’t, a lot of ways I would like my life to be different. And there’s one big thing that’s been getting in the way for some time, and I’m so so SO tired of it. I’m tired of hiding it, and I’m tired of lying about it. So I’m coming out.

Hello. My name is eisha, and I’m clinically depressed.

I know… who isn’t, right? For serious, almost every time I get up the nerve to tell someone, they are too. And this is old news for me – I was first diagnosed 10 years ago, after an episode that was bad enough to land me in a psychiatric hospital for a few days. But it still feels like something I have to keep secret, like something I’ll be judged about. It’s ridiculous, here we are in the 21st century, there’s all kinds of scientific evidence about chemical imbalances and neurotransmitters and whatever, but I still feel like I need to hide it, like I’ll be judged. So instead every so often I back out of an obligation or social engagement with a “stomach bug” when really I’m just having one of those days where I can’t look anyone in the eye without crying. And then I feel guilty, like I’m letting everyone down, which makes me feel weak and pathetic and like I don’t deserve to have friends or family who care about me, which makes me feel like I can’t face anyone, so I back out of obligations… etc., etc., ad infinitum. And I am SO. FUCKING. TIRED. of this. I’ve missed out on so many things. I walked away from a BOOK DEAL, people, because I was TOO SAD TO WRITE. I shit you not.

So why now? Why, when I’ve always been so worried about what people would think of me, put this out there for everyone to read? Two things.

First, Allie Brosh. You (hopefully) know her as the author/illustrator of the hilarious blog Hyperbole and a Half. Not too long after she announced a book deal of her own, she threw down this painfully accurate depiction of her own downward spiral into depression.

And then… she disappeared. Completely. Utterly. No posts, no tweets, nothing, for months. I’ve never met the woman, but I worried. The other day I decided to Google her, see if anyone knew what had happened, and found this. Apparently others had been worried about her too, and she took a little break from her depression-induced hiatus to reassure them. And I just thought… god, she’s so brave. Just putting it all out there like that. Why can’t I?

Second, my dog. (I know, bear with me here.) I adopted this schnoodle-ish rescue a few months ago.

She is cute as a Mini Cooper full of babies, smart as Stephen Hawking’s mother tells her bridge club friends he is, and hilarious and sweet and just generally awesome. Oh, and also? A total basket case. Barking for hours at a time for no reason, OCD-ishly batting her water bowl back and forth across the floor… just a mess. You could watch these fits come over her, like panic attacks. She so clearly couldn’t help herself. I don’t know much about her first year before she landed at the rescue, but it must not have been pretty. So after months of throwing down ridiculous piles of money I don’t have on vets and trainers and behaviorists and herbal tinctures and Thundershirts… I finally got her a prescription for Prozac. Seriously. And it’s only been a couple of weeks, but I can see such a difference already. She’s still funny, she’s still smart, but little by little she’s getting control over her demons. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, training-wise, but I feel like now she can actually HEAR me over whatever was happening in her head. And I watch her and think, this is how it should be. She’s sick, she gets medicine, she gets better. No shame, no judgement. Why isn’t it like that for me?

So here I am. Trying to be completely straight-up about who I am with you, for the first time in… ever. And I dunno, I think it feels pretty good.

So. Um… what’s new with you?


17 Responses to “Chapter 2”

  1. 1 Johnny
    August 21, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I’ve always regarded you as pretty damn awesome. This news does nothing to change that. Keep up the fight- I hope it gets easier for you.

  2. 2 EM
    August 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Love this, love you. Good on ya.

  3. 3 Horse face
    August 21, 2012 at 9:20 am

    You are such a Rockstar for being so honest and brave. Oh, and I had been wondering about Allie, too. Thanks for the update.

  4. August 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

    You rock, Eisha. Embrace that.

  5. 6 Diana
    August 21, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Bravo, Eisha. I think you’re wonderful!

  6. 7 Jen
    August 21, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Anti-depressants are amazing. More people should be on them.
    ❤ you

  7. August 21, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Y’all are so great. Thanks for the kind words. ❤ you all right back.

  8. 9 Rene Nix
    August 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    So sorry to hear this BUT so glad you’ve found the courage to share. I would think this is a good first step in dealing with it?? Not an expert but I can relate…diagnosed with post-partum depression after my son was born. I also felt judged, looked down on, and undeserving of being a mom. Totally sucked. I sometimes still feel like I have to apologize for having it and I’m still on medication and in therapy for it (and other self-esteem issues). I’m here if you need anything and for the record I think you’re just so damn cool!! Take care.

  9. August 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Well, hardly a FIRST step. But maybe a first step towards being more accepting of it. Sorry to hear about your experience. *hug* You’re pretty damn cool yourself, Rene.

  10. August 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    eisha, anyone who sees depression as a reason to judge or walk away from someone isn’t worth a thing, to you or anyone else. I’m glad you’re talking about this, and I’m glad you’re going to get some help. And you have to know: just going on and moving forward and doing all the things you have done while dealing with depression takes such great, great courage and strength. If you can lift some of the weight of that chemical thing, imagine what you can do. Anything you want is what.

    I read Hyperbole and a Half sometimes when I’m having a low day–the one you mention, because it’s just so brave to be so out there (and the scene when she’s buying the Skittles makes me feel all kick-ass for some reason), but also the posts about her dogs, which make me laugh SO HARD. I hope that Allie doesn’t stop creating.

    And I’m so glad you and Betty are turning out to be so good for each other.

    A barrel of hugs to you.

  11. August 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Adrienne, you are awesome too. And don’t worry, I’ve been getting help via therapy/meds for years.

    And OMG Allie’s dogs! I miss those posts so bad.

  12. August 27, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Seeing you blogging again makes me unspeakably happy. Or, well, maybe that should be “speakably” now that I’ve actually said so. You know what I mean.

  13. September 9, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Hi eisha! Hi! Sending you support and good thoughts. Glad that you’re blogging. Hope work is going well, but more importantly, I hope that YOU are DOING well. First and foremost.

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A blog of random thoughts on libraries, books, music, movies, food, friends, and the human condition.

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