As someone struggling with depression, there are many lies I tell myself to get through each day. I tell myself that I believe things will get better. I tell myself that I believe life is worth living. I tell myself that I believe someday I will be happy. All these lies I tell myself in the hope they will eventually ring true and I will come to believe them. But there are some lies I tell myself without even being aware, and it wasn't until the suicide of Robin Williams that I discovered I had been telling myself the greatest lie of all.
A slightly modified version of this essay, titled "When Robin Williams Died, I Realized the Greatest Lie Depression Had Told Me" was published on The Mighty on August 10, 2017.
For eight years I ran my own business while dealing with the challenges and stressors that came with it. Panic attacks had become a weekly, if not daily, occurrence and I lived my life like I was only half a step ahead of a charging boulder. For a time, I even convinced myself that this irrational, all-encompassing fear was what spurred my drive to succeed, but instead of propelling me closer to the finish line, I found myself dropping further and further behind with each new challenge - each setback taking me longer to recover. I was failing both mentally and physically and I realized that the life I had been enduring, not living, was no longer working for me.
A slightly modified version of this essay, titled "5 Tips for Living With 'High-Functioning' Bipolar Disorder" was published on The Mighty on July 25, 2017.
Today I called my Dad to wish him a happy Father's Day and for the first time ever, I told him out loud that I loved him.
His response was simply, "You too." I took it as a good start as we had never been able to cross that threshold before and whether it was something he was not ready to commit to or I had just caught him by surprise, at least his response was not an awkward silence I would have to reflect on later.