I struggle to describe depression. It isn’t just sadness. It is more. It is deeper. It is an emptiness that hurts so much. It feels like something has been cut out of you. And you can’t move. Or breath. Or think. It is all just too exhausting.
And the point comes when it is really bad and you think that it isn’t something that is missing, it is that you don’t belong. That you should just remove yourself. Those are the dark times. The times you hold a knife wondering what it would feel like to cut into your skin. Wondering how much pressure it would take.
And then the feeling comes. That feeling like you are a burden on everyone you love. Like they will leave if you open up. The worst is when people do leave, and it just reinforces the darkness. And you wonder if you are unlovable. You wonder if you are passing your darkness on to others. If you can even have a family with this darkness.
I am lucky I suppose. I am lucky because I numbed myself with alcohol instead of doing something more permanent. It is strange, describing alcoholic behavior as lucky, but it is. I am lucky someone forced me to seek help. I am lucky that help is still available to me. I am lucky, but there are still days I slip. I slip, and the darkness envelopes me. I struggle to breathe, and I wonder if I am just causing everyone too much trouble.
And I open up just a crack, and then the light shines in. Through this blog. Through the people in my life. Time and time again life proves that the darkness is just covering up the joy. Time and time again life proves that depression lies. I know that, but inside I still have the fear of never being better. I still have the fear of being a burden. I still have the fear of the darkness winning. And I feel the amazement every time people are there, driving the darkness away.
If you are struggling, know that you are not alone. I am there too. So many of us are there. You just can’t see us because of the darkness. But know that we survived the fear. We survived the feeling. And so can you.