This is Depression
I know some people, probably many people, would be surprised to know of my personal battle with depression. Depression looms every day...looking for an in...an opportunity to creep inside and shut me down. I've often tried to explain to those I love what it feels like to be in the depths of it...how it defies all logic and reason...how it literally invades your cells and steals your very soul. I found this poem online some time ago...anonymously posted...and took away from it and added to it so it fit my nightmare. I find a value in it...it's dark and disturbing...and a true account of my experience. I will NEVER go back to this place again...I have protocols in place that I follow when I feel it looming closer...the experience was so terrifying it has made me hyper vigilant in my determination to never ever ever let depression infiltrate my world again. I have an amazing family and a husband who probably saved my life with his kind and understanding and gentle love for me during that time period. THAT is the truth of my life...and depression is a giant lie...a very determined mother fucker who will probably always be in my shadows for sure...but I know it's tactics and I love life far too much to give it any traction. I am sharing this now for anyone out there who may be facing this and feeling alone...you need to know that you would be VERY surprised to know how many around you understand and would be honored to walk beside you and help you find your way out and back to yourself and your family and friends. Do not believe the lie.
This is Depression
It overshadows everything. Everything good: good marriage, good family, good job, good friends, good soul, good health, good life, good fucking weather. The sun doesn’t shine here, which feels stupid because of course it IS shining.
I don’t consider taking my own life, it’s not an option and I don’t really want to die. But in the depths of the depths I want out. I feel I cannot survive this thing, I’m not strong enough and feel I might die. I almost wish to get sick and just be so sick I can do nothing, not even feel... just sleep...until it passes and I can be me again.
It’s a thief who points a big gun at me and takes all of my joy. Not just the big stuff, I’m talking about the little stuff. It empties all my pockets of treasures. It stands, big and dark and strong and unmoving in the doorway between me and everything. I fall silent. I am denied access.
It leaves me standing alone…even when I know I am not alone
It won’t shut up, and worse it tells me the same story, again and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again.
The same story with the same bad ending.
I feel I am trapped and desperate to get out but where am I trapped and what the fuck do I want to get out of? My own skin? I want to run away-run away from myself.
But of course there is nowhere to go. I am always there.
I fear I can never go back to work again. I feel nothing but dread and that work is pointless and I have nothing to say. I am ruined. But then I feel I was doing nothing much anyway. I’m tired of it. It has no meaning.
When I am distracted, I almost feel ok/normal, which is disconcerting. I laugh at a joke. But then I watch myself laugh, knowing I could cry instead, which I do a lot, even though I am not a crier, I can’t stop. I get asked a question or to make a choice and I don’t know the answer…and I don’t care what the answer is…I am numb.
I am aware I am quite ill. People who love me say: this is not you! You are strong and happy. You will grow from this. You will emerge even better than before. But right now it IS me.
It whispers to me that I am powerless over this illness. It tells me I have a terrible dis-ease of the mind and fills me with shame.
I am weak. I am afraid. I am crushed under the weight of bullshit.
I write this and know the writing of it is important and good, it feels good to see it in black and white and to be able to call it out…and to say
“I see you…I KNOW what you are…I KNOW your game!!! You are a lie!!!”
But I do still see it there, I can actually see it’s physical form in the shadows, on the edges, waiting.
I see it lurking with a giant hammer and feel I am only very small.
I see it waiting to wrap around me and all through me, it knows how to get into my very being…into my veins.
I am a bug under a giant shoe.
I hold on desperately to my close friends, my family.
All the clichés come to mind – I’m in the vast ocean holding on to a rope. In the vast desert, gratefully taking each glass of water…grateful…SO GRATEFUL they are there.
But I am afraid…afraid…terrified….it will win this time
So afraid this giant beast will grow huge.
It will be a disease that spreads, a virus that kills all good things.
It will make everyone tired, tired of me, it will suck the life out of them like a vampire so I am left totally alone,
kept company only with this horrible monster who is not my friend…
but knows my name and where I live.
Depression is the greatest liar out there...We do have the strength to push back.
I found it
I have friends who did not believe they had it
And they found it
It's a battle
It's a fight worth winning
Because life really is an amazing gift
It really really really is