Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pieces of the puzzle

I was reading a friend's (private) blog post which happened to mention mental illness.
{Side note: mental illness is defined as any disease of the mind; the psychological state of someone who has emotional or behavioral problems serious enough to require psychiatric intervention. This includes depression.}

Anyway, this particular friend was discussing her own mental issues, and the problems she was having with a particular friend who just didn't understand, which I get. One of the comments her friend made that this friend took offense to, was that "nobody considers mental illness to be a part of their identity."

At first, I agreed with my friend. Mental illness is my identity. My depression is my identity...isn't it? Then I started thinking. Depression is part of my identity, but it isn't my whole identity. It's a piece of me, just like the fact that I'm a girl, or that I have brown hair and blue eyes. It's always there, it's not something I can change.

I feel like depression is like that, too. I can cover it up with therapy or drugs, just like I can cover my hair with dye. I can't change it permanently, however...and I'm not sure I want to. My depression is there, just like everything else that is part of my identity. But I refuse it let it identify me solely, and that is where (I feel) many people go wrong. They allow depression to win, to identify them completely, and it shouldn't. It's only a piece of the whole puzzle that makes you, well, you.

Part of the puzzle that makes me Megg, is my depression. But it's also my brown hair, my blue eyes, and my feminine wiles. (Well, maybe not the latter...) I refuse to let the depression win and define me completely. And while this is difficult, I like to think that I'm making progress...a little bit at a time.

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