On depression and what it means to me.
I’ve tried to write about this for the longest time but somehow I never had the time or I was too tired or not in the mood to write or something else to actually do it. Depression is not an easy thing to talk about. Not so much because society is still very uncomfortable with it and makes it a taboo. But because depression can only ever fully be understood by those who found themselves engulfed in this mindnumbing darkness. Everyone else usually has an opinion ranging from complete ignorance and well meant advice to educated guesses and empathic imagination. And the next hurdle is that depression feels different for everyone. Not only are there milder and graver forms of depression. Everyone’s experience is different. Some people decribe it as a suffocating black hole others speak about a subdued life in monochrome. Search for quotes on depression anywhere online. Most of the results will try to explain what depression is. Each and every quote will be different from the next one. All of them are true.
This is probably the most open I’ve ever been about how I feel. I do not intend to make you feel sorry for me. I don’t want you to believe that I’m an expert on depression. I simply excel at it and want to write down how it affects my life.
I feel like crying a lot of the time. This is not the elegant rom-com sort of crying, the one where someone carefully dabs away your tears with a hankie. This is type of crying that wracks your body with every sob. The sort that leaves you feeling more empty and alone than you felt before.
Some days I’m in pain. I feel like my heart wants to scream in agony. That usually leads to more crying.
Then, there are those other days, the ones when I feel like I simply don’t exist. I’m a rock, slowly eroding; vanishing. Those are the days when I don’t feel anything at all. At most, I feel dead. I spend my day as a zombie trained to smile.
I haven’t yet figured out which one is better.
I thought about cutting myself, not because I might feel something at least or because the flowing blood would be evidence of being alive, but to match my outside to my inside. I’m not doing it. I could never do the kind of damage needed to do this depression justice.
I try not to use them too much or only chance superficial glances because I don’t see myself in the mirror. There is someone there but that can’t be me. It’s like an out of body experience. This person looks pitiful, lost, broken. I want to help her. But I can’t.
Social interaction is the most difficult thing. I see what this does to my wife and I would like to get better so I don’t have to see the pain I’m causing anymore. I hate the worries and I hate the helplessness.
Friends. I know, and they very likely know too, that I’m a drag, a humourless, self-absorbed, broken mess that will only pull them down. I wouldn’t want to see me either. So staying away from them is the easiest preventative measure I can take.
Those are all things though that go back and forth. Emotionally, I know I’ll never get better. But sometimes that voice in my head pops in to say hi. It’s the logical counterpart to what I feel and it tells me that there is a chance that it might get better. Maybe it will all turn out to be just fine.
What I struggle most with, what get’s to me most of all is the time lost while staring into nothingness, reading not what I’d like to read but something simpler that my brain can process, and watching TV that I’d never normally watch. Sometimes I even have difficulty following the plot/quests of a familiar computer game. My mind is not working properly and that is what makes me do stuff I usually wouldn’t devote so much time to.
That is time I’ll never get back. This hour of staring into space. That hour of crying. This is time I could’ve spent on reading something I enjoy, learning something new. If I ever get better, I’ll have so much catching up to do, that I’m sure it’s impossible. I’ll be 80 years old and will have gotten to a point I could’ve been at at 50, if I hadn’t lost so much time.
There is no logical voice going off in my head telling me what I feel is not necessarily true and it there is loads of time. There is just silence. That logical voice knows to shut up, then. Because I’m never going to invent a Time Turner and I won’t build a TARDIS. Being depressed robs you of much more that just yourself. It takes away your future too.