Depression, you don’t scare me. You’re far too familiar for that.
The first time I had you, I was scared. It seemed like the end of the world. It seemed like nothing would get better. But it did. When I was 18 years old and depressed, I never could have imagined the true happiness I experienced after depression.
But that person who was happy is dead now.
At 19, depression is a loss of identity. I can no longer associate with the person who many people grew to know me as: that happy, outgoing person, seemingly fearless because she thought she had just won her battle with depression. That five-foot-five embodiment of excitement for the world. Now I find myself grasping for threads of who I am – that open, outgoing person? This severely depressed recluse? I don’t have an answer. I’m just left to wonder what – or rather, who – will come next.
But depression, you don’t scare me. The crying until your eyes are rubbed raw? Been there. The pain so intense inside you feel you may break? Done that. The mid-day loneliness of hours with too many thoughts and too little to do? What’s else is new. I’m no stranger to pain.
The friendships that grow thin and the smiles that risk falling through the cracks of memory. The nights you wish some miracle would happen and you wouldn’t wake up the next morning. The outbursts of anger; the estrangement from friends, family, and self; the endless nights wondering why, why, why. They are familiar, like an old friend.
The second time around, it isn’t so rough. Or maybe it is, but I’m used to it. Hardened, in a way.
Because depression, you don’t scare me. I know the natural course of things. Quit saying that “it gets better” – YOU make it better, and better it shall be. And for now, this misleading sense of hope, that comes from being okay with not being okay, provides a dubious relief.
Who can possibly imagine what will come next?