So, I haven’t revealed what I really go through on a day to day basis, but I’m about to tell you all a whole helluva lot about myself…and what it’s like to be inside my head. ‘Ere goes.
The thing about depression is it never really goes away. It’s just a lingering air of empty feelings that you can’t locate, not even with a microscopic lens and all of the technology in the world. It’s not like chicken pox, where it can be cured. It’s more of a slow forming disease. It begins with its physical debilitation, cutting off all feeling from your extremeties and then slowly moves towards the emotional receptors in your brain which begin to shut down. Everything becomes blank. You no longer are happy with simple pleasures like food or good sex or a good book to read. It becomes a chore. Mundane tasks are obstacles, an avalanche. The slightest wrong tone in somebody’s voice can make you feel as though you’ve just committed murder. Worthless.
It’s worse because if you’re anything like me, you also most likely struggle with anxiety. Anxiety and depression are highly associated and often are never far apart. They play off one another and compound until you’re really just a manic anxious depressive individual. You think about how depressed you are which makes you anxious, which then makes you even more depressed and you then get so fed up that you do something you regret on impulse. You become numb to feeling. Numb to sensation both mental and physical. Feeling blank is something you’re too familiar with. Often happy moments are quickly trampled by impending doom of the future.
Depression is never an easy thing to explain. It leaves your tongue tied and your palms sweaty. Trying to explain to somebody who says “but I don’t get it…why are you so depressed? Just stop being depressed?” is like pulling teeth. You have everything you’ve ever wanted, right? So why are you sad? Oh, it’s just a phase, right….no. Depression lingers. It stays with you. It has triggers. Those triggers are small, but they are powerful. They can send you into the abyss, void of emotion, entirely obsolete. You become fluid in your motion, day in and day out that nothing has meaning, or purpose. The reason for your existence ceases to be a question. You contemplate what it would be like if you were to die, but then again, you kind of enjoy your ho hum life. So you stick around in the hopes that something better will arrive and you remain in limbo floating through until that day never comes. It never comes.
It doesn’t have to be traumatic either. You don’t need a death in the family. Or reasons really at all. You don’t need a script or rubric. It just happens. Sometimes it is caused by something else, and other times it may just be a wholly apathetic and unsatisfied outlook on life. That second one seems to confuse people. “But why? Life is soooo great!” As Mr. Hemingway said, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Not to say we’re all martyrs and self depricators…we just can’t control it, really…
Having depression is a weight. A weight that may lessen and grow, it might disappear for a week or two, and become shielded by a false hope that everything will be okay again. A false sense of security perhaps being the most disheartening feeling. You spend time doing what you love, being with those that care for you, attempting to live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Yet you have that plague. That weight. A crowded room with empty stares. A full house with nobody home. A heavy heart and a blank mind.
This isn’t everything guys, perhaps just one part of two or three. But this is just a taste of what depression feels like.