I'm generally a positive, creative, outgoing person. It took me a long time to figure out that something was Not Right™, that I was tired all the time, that I didn't want to see people, that doing my work which I normally love was like pulling teeth, that going to conventions which was always exciting was turning into the most difficult chore. I would drive my kids to school and wonder, "what if I just kept on driving?" Even if things were, on the surface, pretty great, I wanted to run away from my life.
Then one day, I just had to stop my car on the side of the road and burst out crying. For no real reason, it just felt like everything was a huge pressure. In my particular case, I was already predisposed to this as I'd had a few bouts of minor depression in the past, but it turns out the specific brand of birth control I was on has the side effect of causing or enhancing depression.
I got rid of the synthetic hormone-filled IUD, and took a leave from work. I was lucky to have the support of my husband, my kids and many friends, and did recover in large part. But I'm still struggling with some anxiety issues, which I'm talking about and working to resolve.
Mostly, I'm grateful for the support I've been getting, but also for the fact that there are people talking about their experience with mental illness, be it in typed words or recordings, or even in drawings and comics. It helps to feel like I'm not alone, like other people know what it's like, and they are getting help, and getting through things. It's heartwarming and encouraging. It's a tough road, but it's easier when others are walking it with you.