Living With Depression
Maybe you're born with it, maybe it's depression.
Extreme sadness. Loss of interest. Lack of passion. Extreme irritability. Mood swings. Sleeping the day away. Crippling lack of motivation. Weight gain. An apparent inability to make decisions. Forgetfulness.
It’s a textbook case of depression.
You might even think it’s "too perfect” to really be depression. I mean, no illness is ever 100% identical to the symptoms laid out on the backlit screen of your computer as you Google whatever is ailing you, right? Yet there it is. This is your life now.
You don’t notice it right away. Maybe you start by breaking your streak of reading a chapter from your latest book every night before bed. Or maybe you give in to a cheat day twice this week. Maybe you snap at your partner when they ask how your day was after work.
But it’s just once, right? It’s not like it’s happening all the time.
Until it starts to happen twice, three times a week. Maybe now it’s been three months since you’ve picked up a book. Maybe it’s been six months since you last worked out and you notice your pants are fitting a little more snug than they used to. Maybe you realize you’ve watched tv for six straight hours four nights in a row. Maybe you haven’t washed your sheets for four months.
Maybe you haven’t washed your hair in over a week. And you can’t even dig deep enough to find the energy to get into the shower.
You know you need to. You even want to. You know you’ll feel better once you’re clean — and lord knows you want to feel better. You want this incessant black cloud over your head to go away.
For those precious five minutes at least.
But getting up just seems so hard. The bathroom seems so far away. Standing in the shower and doing something for twenty minutes somehow makes hard labor look like a walk in the park. You catch the problematic comparison in that thought though. You feel like crap about it too. And of course you feel like you can’t tell anyone, because then you’d just be making something out of nothing.
It’s just a shower.
It’s just taking the dog around the block.
It’s just dumping a can of cat food into a bowl.
It’s just changing your clothes.
It’s just wiping down the kitchen counters.
It’s just watering a couple plants.
It’s just moving clothes from the floor to the machine.
It’s just picking up a book.
It’s just calling your mom.
It’s just having lunch with your best friend.
It’s just deciding where you want to order dinner from tonight.
It’s just getting out of bed.
It’s just remembering your anniversary.
Except now everything you used to love doing feels like a chore. And these new chores of yours have to be done with a two hundred pound weight on each limb.
It’s just a never ending list that already looked overwhelming with just one item on it.
It’s learning how to fake a smile. It’s learning how to make “I’m fine” believable. It’s hating your body but not caring enough to do anything about it. It’s knowing that you need to do something, but not being able to make yourself do it. It’s living a constant paradox. It’s exhausting. It’s draining. It doesn’t just take you away from what you used to love, it makes you hate the same things that used to give you life.
So you become a hermit. A filthy, hopeless, hermit. A filthy, hopeless, hermit wallowing in self pity in your own stench. Because you know what? What’s the point anyway.
You aren’t happy with your life. It always feels like everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Maybe you got skipped over for that promotion. Maybe you never got a call back for that interview you were hoping for. Maybe your partner dumped you. Maybe you’re living on your own for the first time and you weren’t expecting it to be so lonely.
Or maybe, just maybe, your life is perfect. But you still feel this ominous black cloud overlooking every little thing you do. Maybe you don’t need a reason to feel like shit. And that makes you feel so. fucking. guilty. because someone out there has it far worse than you and yet you have the audacity to feel depressed.
No matter what you do. No matter what happens. Nothing makes it better.
You definitely don't want to die, but not waking up in the morning doesn't sound so bad either sometimes.
That thought makes you well up, tears seeping out of the corners of your eyes, because you know you don’t want to die. Not really. You know you have people who care. You know you’re not alone. You know life can’t possibly suck at this level of hell for eternity. You know the medication you’re taking is supposed to help. You know you’re living a constant contradiction between what you know and what you feel. All you want to do is flush it all away with another flood of tears. You know you could refill an entire ocean with the tears you’ve lost to all the stupid little things that have sent you over the edge.
Maybe you sob uncontrollably. Maybe it’s just a silent trickle. Either way it lasts for hours and it’s a pit that, in that moment, you’re positive you’ll never be able to claw your way out of.