My name is Laura Morrell and writing about pages is one the hardest things to do. When you sit down and try to describe yourself, it’s really difficult to think of anything other than “my favorite color is blue” or “I like cats.” So I’m going to approach this a little differently than I usually would.
I started this blog in the spring of 2014 as a way to kind of journal my life. At the time I was really excited because Jason, my husband, and I were moving back to Waco, the place I had considered home for six years before we got married. I was overjoyed to be going back.
What I was ignoring was that I was in the beginning stages of depression. I knew what was happening but didn’t want to admit it. My subconscious was desperately hoping that being back home would greatly help, even though I knew it was silly to hope it would be a magical fix.
And it wasn’t a magical fix. While my overall quality-of-life improved greatly (good restaurants! actual stores! friends!), my mental state continued to deteriorate. I reached a point where I was struggling to find anything I liked about myself. I found it hard to find the motivation to do anything. Even doing things I love, like watching TV, or playing a game, sounded like a chore, like too much effort. And the worst part is I wanted to do something. I just lacked the energy. I wanted to do something about what was happening to me, but it was so hard to tell myself that it was worth it.
Thanks to the unfailing support of my wonderful husband, I started counseling in April 2015. It’s still an ongoing process, and I’m certainly not back to “normal” (which my counselor discourages me from saying, because it’s okay not to be normal, everyone struggles with balancing their emotions in life), but I’ve come a long way in just a few months.
That’s where this blog comes in.
One of the things my counselor suggested I do was keep a journal or log of what I considered to be my good days and my bad days. Her hope was that eventually, I could look back at my journal and see that the good days were starting to become more common, and hopefully that a good day wouldn’t be ruined by just one bad thing happening. I’m not taking her advice so literally though. Instead of just logging good days versus bad days, I’d rather journal or blog about what life really feels like. Some days, that might mean I ramble endlessly about how sweet my cat is, or how generous my husband is at taking care of me. It might mean I post about some of my favorite places on earth. It might mean I try to convince you to watch a certain TV show.
But on other days., it might be a lot more raw. Sometimes I just need to work through my thought process to get to the core of what hurts, what is making me feel so bad. I think a lot of people just believe that depression is been sad all the time, or being lazy and not wanting to get out of bed just because. There’s a lot of misinformation about depression that gets spread by word-of-mouth by people who have had no experience with it.
One of the hardest things about depression is feeling very alone. It isolates you until you feel like you have no one who cares. And the truth of the matter is, that isn’t true. But depression convinces you it’s true. It convinces you that you’re not worthy of love, that you’re not good enough. And in my experience, the best way to fight against depression is to actively fight that thought process. But sometimes it’s hard to do that alone. Which is why it’s important to talk about it. Mental health is very important, but there is such a stigma about it right now.
My hope with this blog is that I can share with you what depression feels like for me. Not everyone’s experiences are exactly the same, but hopefully by sharing mine it will help someone feel little more understood. And maybe people will see that it can affect anyone.
I think my confession will shock a lot of people. Everyone says I’m one of the most positive, optimistic, happy people they know. And that’s still a part of my personality, it’s just proof that depression doesn’t care if you’re a positive person, it doesn’t care if you have a good life and a good spouse and live in your favorite city. All it cares about is convincing you that you’re the worst.
But I’m not the worst. And neither are you. We all have our strengths and our faults, and we shouldn’t diminish our strengths just because we dislike our nose, or our laugh, or our laziness or restlessness or struggles. We’re going to fight this and we’re going to win.
I’m horrible at naming things. (But I don’t dislike myself for that! It’s ok!) I thought long and hard about what to call my blog and struggled. I’d come up with a few ideas, some that revolved around this fight against my depression, my journey back to being joyful, and some that revolved around being proud to be a nerd.
Suddenly the phrase “Happy as a Nerd” popped into my head. I liked that it was a play on a familiar phrase (happy as a clam, which admittedly I couldn’t remember the meaning of in that moment) because I love word play/puns, but I also liked that to me, it had a double meaning.
I am happy being a nerd. I love analyzing TV shows and score music. I love sci-fi and fantasy and mystery and every combination of that. I read fanfiction all the time. I love video games and strategic board games. But I’m not just happy being a nerd, I’m proud to be a nerd. It’s something I haven’t let the depression take from me.
So for me, “Happy as a Nerd” is also telling everyone, and myself, this is something I like about me. I’m not going to hate myself, because part of myself is a nerd, and I love being a nerd. So ha! Screw you depression, you won’t win, because I’m happy as a nerd.