I’ve come to feel it once again.
I’ve been here before, then again later, and again after that.
I am speaking, as the title indicated, of Depression. Do you know it? Do you know its seeping, creeping darkling tendrils? Its suffocating mass? Its overwhelming prevalence in your life?
The funny thing is that I want to feel it. I draw Depression over myself like a comforting blanket, speak through its muffling effects, and even run my thoughts through its percolating filter.
I’m afraid. And as much as I fear the mental state I can get to with Depression, I fear the unknowns of real life much more -especially the variables known as people. Actually, that’s not fair. A lot of my negative thoughts result from a constant need to numb any feeling at all.
When my mind is awake and aware, the reality of my pointless life rises up in walls around me. It doesn’t stop there. Depression curdles my thoughts, reminding me of how much I have in life and how I should feel bad for feeling bad. I should also stop thinking selfishly at all. Sure; I don’t ever address my own happiness, but I’m more functional that way.
When around people, every little gesture or tone or blink sends my anxiety off the charts. I talk too much, or too little. I don’t smile enough. Maybe I smiled too much? I know they hated me because they did that little side-smile and nervous laugh. Why oh why did I talk about social injustice when they just wanted to talk about Joanna Gaines?
Reeling at the stimuli I quickly opt for substance abuse, staying up late, stopping my mind, and squashing my innermost desires.
I forget all the good advice and hide beneath my cloud of encroaching gloom known as Depression.
And only when I am at the bottom of the pit do I notice things might not be ideal. When my mind shouts, “NO YOU’RE NOT” over the top of a compliment. When I yearn to not exist. When, in short, the thoughts altered by Depression go beyond what I think is ‘real’ and definitely enter ‘lying.’
That’s when I begin to fidget a bit. Perhaps, I consider, this Depression thing isn’t such a great comforter after all.
And yet, I don’t fully shake it. Instead, I feel I go round and round the cycle again.
I told my counselor once that I don’t know why I keep at it. I said that maybe I was waiting for ‘rock bottom;’ for a major event to shake me out of this. “You don’t want rock bottom,” she reminded me. She’s right, of course. I don’t.
I feel I need to take my own advice and stop pretending I don’t need to. I need to keep at it and not assume all’s well enough to get lazy. I need to actually do what I just said.
What do you do to push away the blues, and remember that they need to stay away? How do you stick with it?
Megan te Boekhorst
José Ignacio García Zajaczkowski
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