I ought to tell you what depression is like for me, as it is different for everyone. Not really sure where to start….
Well, sometimes it seems to jump me out of nowhere and I find myself winded or like the rug has been pulled from under my feet. I simply and completely shut down. I look but my eyes and mind are not focusing on anything. I have conversations that I don’t remember and I feel like I am fading away, like I’m jelly or wobbly. I feel so lost and alone.
Sometimes I see the signs and I try to stop things before they get worse. I start get really, really tired and I start to shut down. I get really teary at times, angry at others. I can’t seem to remember things and I do feel all over the place.
At its worst, I feel surrounded by a black fog and no matter how hard I try, I feel like I’m being dragged into a dark pit of quick sand. It takes so much effort to keep out of it and I do catch myself thinking, ‘Why don’t I just stop struggling and just slip into the abyss?’
I don’t though, I fight on. I put on my mask and say to myself and others that I’m fine and smile. I lift my heavy head from the pillow, I shower, wash my hair, get dressed and I’m exhausted. It takes so much effort to do any work, I can’t concentrate for long, I just want to run, hide, curl up, disappear. I can only think of one thing at a time and only do one or two things a day. At my worst, just getting out of bed was enough.
I try to work through it by taking the dog for a walk, watching comedies, get lots of cuddles, listen to music and meet people. This doesn’t always work. Sometimes the pain in my heart is so overwhelming and I just cry. I don’t know why. Sleep helps at times like this because it doesn’t hurt, but I lose days and end up with days, weeks, months (at my worst) where my memory is just blank. I try not to sleep it away anymore because I miss out on so much with my family and it does affect them. Well, all my moods affect them but when I completely shut down like that, I can see the hurt in their eyes. They need a mum and wife. I do allow myself the odd day when I really need it but no more. I keep telling myself that life is too short and I’m wasting time.
There is no reason to feel so down, so sad but at times it feels like I’ve lost something huge and I have a massive hole in my soul. It makes no sense and I’ve stop trying to figure it out. I just brace myself, like before a scary roller coaster ride, and sit through it. It does pass eventually but it needs to ride its course. I can’t seem to force it away.
I feel like every time I go through this, especially the really bad times, I loose a part of me. There are only my self harming scars to show any signs of my mental pain. I can picture what I would be physically if I were to reflect my mind. No limbs, chunks out of me, my face in pieces. I would be that ruin castle, that broken bridge, that broken glass that gets chucked in the bin.
When it’s bad, it is bad. And I would not be able to write about it when I’m there. I don’t like calling it the black dog because I love dogs and my Alfie helps me so much. It is dark though, and bleak, and there is no hope or reason to go on. It blocks my mind of any rational thought, it doesn’t let me recognise or see love, joy or beauty around me. I hate it and I want to run from it.
But I wouldn’t be who I am today without my depression, without my experiences. I have accepted this lead ball and chain around me and carry on the fight. I’m trying to be the best I can, try to keep the energy, hope and dreams going. I’ve only got one chance of life and I don’t want to remember a life of darkness. I’ve already lost so much time to it already. Only I can change it and it’s not easy but I’m just taking things a step at a time. I’ve learnt to be kind to myself, to love myself. I now know I’m not weak, not a failure. I now know I belong, I’m loved, I’m brave and I can do anything.
This has been so difficult to write and I do apologise if it isn’t very articulate. Just thinking of being there is causing me pain but I know I’m not alone. You can join Unmasked on my blog or leave a comment. I would love to hear from you and connect. Together we can get through this.