Depression is a wicked companion. All-consuming and over-whelming. An unwelcome guest who overstays. It knocks ever so quietly on the door of your mind. It seems so sad and lonely that you let it in. It manipulates you into feeling sorry for it. It just wants someone to talk to. But, quickly, you realize how socially awkward it is. It doesn’t register the hints that it is time to leave.
“I should really be getting up now. Take a shower…get dressed and eat breakfast,” I say. “It was good to see you. Let’s talk again soon.”
“STUPID GIRL!” Depression mocks, “YOU DON’T GET TO DECIDE WHEN I LEAVE. YOU’RE NOT STRONGER THAN ME. I’M HERE TO STAY.”
A relentless bully that you can’t walk away from. You can’t turn the other cheek because it is your own hand who will slap you twice as hard leaving thick, red welts and bruises no one else can see.
“Wait, this isn’t what I signed up for when I let you in. Let me go. I can’t breathe,” I beg, but depression just laughs in my face and drags me farther down into this black abyss of despair and loneliness and grief.
“STUPID GIRL! YOU BELONG TO ME AND I HAVE NO PLANS ON SETTING YOU FREE.”
“WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO AHEAD AND END IT? YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO. CAN YOU EVEN NAME ON PERSON WHO WOULD REALLY MISS YOU?”
“I DIDN’T THINK SO,” Depression whispers. So, why am I still here?
“The knives are right there in the kitchen. That is the way. You’re too much of a wimp to use a gun and you would give up with pills having to swallow them one by one. Just take a knife and stick it in the base of your wrist. Then cut deep until all you are is a pool of dripping blood.
These are some of the thoughts that go through my head over and over and over again. Obsessively. If you knew the rest you would have me admitted? Maybe I should be. It’s not fair to surround my family with this…my husband and especially my daughter.
On the good days I can laugh and smile and tell a joke. And I’m classified as a functional depressed girl. Still clinically depressed but at least you’re able to get out of bed. The words, ‘at least,’ have become curse words to me. There is no, ‘at least,’ in this dark cruel world. There is only depression. And even on the good days I am still an empty void who is just going through the motions.
On the bad days I am barely able to get out of bed. I don’t eat. I just want to sleep. I hear my daughter crying so I force myself off the couch. Make sure she isn’t in any real danger then it’s back under the covers I go. I need relief. I need help.
“IT’S NOT COMING,” Depression taunts. “IT’S NEVER COMING.”
“YOU’RE A FAILURE AS A MOM…AS A WIFE AND DAUGHTER AND SISTER.”
“GET USED TO IT PAL, BECAUSE THIS IS MY HOUSE NOW.”
I can’t remember a time before depression started regularly visiting. Maybe when I was three, before sexual abuse came and stole my childhood away from me.
“Quit feeling sorry for yourself,” the mirror says. “It was almost 18 years ago. You didn’t know any different. That was YOUR fault. You could have said something right from the start. But, you didn’t! You kept quiet when your friends were included.”
“But I was just a child. I didn’t know any better. I thought that was happening to every girl in the neighborhood.”
“STUPID GIRL! YOU’RE MAKING EXCUSES.” If you thought it was normal you would have said something to your mom.
Maybe you’re right. He never threatened to hurt me if I told. And I knew it was supposed to be a secret because he only did it when the adults were away.”
I can still smell and taste things..disgusting things that a 7 year old should never have to experience.
Besides, others have it so much worse than you. You sound like a fool.
Don’t talk about anything unpleasant. Nobody wants to hear about that.
“Why don’t you just try being happy?’
“Have you tried medicine?”
“Have you tried changing your diet?”
“Depression is just an excuse to get out of your responsibilities.”
All things I have read and heard. Like you can just choose to heal your broken arm by eating kale and rubbing it with coconut oil. The difference here is, It’s my MIND THAT IS BROKEN, not a bone. You can’t wrap it up in a cast and not use it for 6 weeks until it fuses back together. That’s not how any of this works. I’ve tried. Therapy doesn’t work because therapists are just there for a paycheck. Medicine has decided that I am too far gone.
So, here I am at 12.39 a.m. writing all of this out. Everything is jumbled. Grammar is atrocious. But that doesn’t matter because anger is seeping out of me like a leaking faucet. Bursting like a frozen pipe in the winter not allowing me to sleep until I get all of this out of my head and onto paper.
And now comes the guilt. Because when I look at my life, there is nothing I should be depressed about.