I am over a year and a half into my most recent major depressive episode… if it can even be called an “episode” anymore. It’s more like an entire season, or a movie, but one so long that it would have needed two DVDs at minimum – when they were still relevant, at least. Any sanity I feel I have left is fading day-by-day, as the monotony, tediousness, and utter exhaustion tear away at every fiber of my very being.
My body aches with fatigue. My head is spinning out of control. My mind is devoid of emotion, while my heart is overwhelmed with too much of it. I am hardly capable of showing love, empathy, or care for other human beings, despite my longing to be able to. It seems as though any effort I have left can, and should, be put only towards my own well-being, as I won’t ever be able to help others, or myself, again if I am dead.
The thought of dying haunts every second of every day for me as the thought of staying alive becomes seemingly more and more brutal. This deep, dark pit of depression is sucking the life and soul out of me, and I have no idea when, or if, it will end. Will it end? For fuck’s sake, please let it end.
Sometimes the only thing that can ground me, the only thing that can beat back the monsters in my head, if only for a little while, is writing. So, here I am, writing at 1:49am, when the reason I am even still awake eludes me. Every inch of my body is screaming at me to sleep, but my mind doesn’t seem to know how to just shut the fuck up.
Depression can be hard for others to talk about. Those who personally struggle with it, those who see loved ones struggle with it, and those who have absolutely no understanding of it. Even I don’t understand it most of the time, but talking about it, or writing about it, helps me to gather my thoughts in a way that I never can when I let myself get lost inside of my own head.
So, I write. I write for me, but I also hope that someone else will benefit from it in some way. Whether it be a friend, acquaintance, or even a complete stranger. This illness is often a lonely one, even for those surrounded by friends, support, and love. It’s lonely because you feel like no one else in the world could possibly understand what you are going through. And, you’re right.
It’s different for everyone. No person struggles in the same exact way as another. The emotions, or emptiness; the pain, or numbness; the feelings of wanting to die, or wanting to live; the way we cope, or attempt to cope… it’s unique to all of us.
But the one thing that is the same about us is that we’re fighting this, as best we can. Even if that means just getting out of bed in the morning, or taking a shower every week, or two, or three… or going out for a short walk. We’re doing our best, and that’s all we can do.
Just know: It’s ok if the only thing you did today was to remember to breathe.