Depression is a constant tight-knit battle within myself. I’m on medication for my second time, and probably always will be. Most of the time, I feel good. Most of the time I’m content with what I do. I have a stable job, an amazing opportunity for schooling, a nice family and amazing friends, I give back to the community and people close to me, I know how to handle situations well, and I have a good home with good roommates. I’d even say I’m brag-worthy…most of the time. Other times, I go days without even looking at myself in the mirror.
This is my depression. The unbearable thought of even looking at myself. The sudden burst of tears out of nowhere, and the undeniable need to stay in bed for forever. People who say that “depression does not define you” are wrong. Depression is a part of me. A huge part of me, actually. I’ve been told it’s because I have such a big heart, that I let so much in all the time, and that it’s not a bad thing. I’m ok with this. You can’t be happy if you’ve never been sad. But my depression is completely forgetting what happiness is, or was. It engulfs every part of my being.
It starts on the surface, makes it’s way through my muscles to the bones, then to my brain and my heart. Being awake is fine, but not being out of my home, or even out of my bed. Gravity seems so heavy all of the sudden. Standing up hurts, sitting in a chair hurts, all of my clothes are heavy and my eyelids follow suit.
Sometimes I cry over nothing at all, sometimes over everything in life. I don’t ever see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I always keep walking through the tunnel. I slow down, but I never stop.This is the tricky part of my depression. I tell people I’m close to about it, and that I’m on antidepressants and that I see a therapist or counselor when I can. Without fail, I am asked about suicidal thoughts or actions. Never. I have never thought about dying any time soon. I never have. It’s rare when someone believes that. Depression is given the rep that “if you’re depressed, you don’t want to live, and you want to kill yourself.” Nope. Not even a little bit. Not ever. I have always wanted to be alive, to make a difference in the world, to have a family and a house and car and pets. It’s just, so…heavy.
My depression is the big fleece blanket and soft pillow that wants to keep me in one spot, alone. My depression is the thing I see out of the corner of my eye that I swear I just saw, but when I turn my head I can’t see it. Sometimes it hides for a couple hours, sometimes for a couple weeks. I can’t ever see it, but I know it’s there. Like a spider from the corner, it will show face and crawl right in front of me sooner or later.
But it always comes back, unannounced and unwanted. I have tried to smash it, and others have tried to help. But depression is a part of my definition.