Depression. There are some days it just hits me so entirely hard I don’t know what to do. I’m paralyzed in a moment of this wave of negativity that takes over my entire being. Usually, those moments hit me late at night. When I’m laying there alone at 3 AM. I look at a phone and this device used to connect us makes me feel more lonely. The silence makes me think no one cares. Depression tries to convince me I’m unloved. I’m unwanted. I’m alone.
In time, I’ve learned to live with this thing. I’ve learned to separate depressed thoughts with those that are the truth. I’ve learned how to tell which is which. I’ve trained myself to stop believing the lies depression tells me.
But these waves of sadness come every so often and it feels like I’m drowning. And I’m reaching for anyone or anything to pull me out. But at the same time, I don’t want to. I don’t want anyone to be dragged into this. I catch my breath only to be taken out by the next wave I didn’t see coming. I’m trying to just get to my feet but I keep falling.
Only no one sees it.
What they see is someone who smiles and laughs and functions. What they see is someone who is high-achieving and eager to please people. What they see is someone who is always busy trying to not let this thing define or dictate my life. What they see is someone who is so put together. I use the term “too put together” because so much of my life and what I put out there isn’t the reality of what I deal with. I go through the motions clinging to anything that gives me something to look forward to, something to make me smile, something that gives me hope in those nights it feels like it’s been lost.
I’m tired, but I can’t sleep.
Every day of my life I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted going through the motions pretending things are fine. I’m exhausted feeling through these intense emotions when they hit me from out of nowhere and knock the wind out of me. I’m exhausted not understanding why I feel the way I do.
And I don’t sleep. No matter how tired I am, I can’t seem to make it through the night and wake up in the morning.
I’m hungry but I don’t care to eat.
Basic necessities go uncared for. I can go hours not realizing the last time I ate could have been a day earlier. Hunger pains don’t compare to this pain I just live with. I don’t have it in me to go out and get food. I don’t feel like leaving. I don’t have it in me to cook simply because I don’t feel like it. There are days when I’m just eating to survive. But then there are days I overindulge maybe to make up for it.
Everything is so unbalanced in my life.
I’m sad, but I don’t know why I’m crying.
There are moments where I’m alone and I just start crying for no reason what-so-ever. But then there are times I completely repress it and hold it in and ignore the pain I’m feeling which makes it ten times worse when it hits.
I’m lonely even when I have company.
I could be standing in a crowded room and feel like the loneliest person there, even if I’m talking to someone. Most the time it’s small talk or something fake. And the art of pretending is something I’ve mastered.
I want to be in the moment, I want to be happy but there are times when I’m so emotionally checked out.
I’m talking, but I’m saying the right things.
Telling people how awful you feel or how sad you are isn’t what they want to hear. They want to hear you’re doing great, you’re happy things couldn’t be better. So that’s what I tell them.
I’m awake and it’s morning, but I can’t leave my bed.
I think back to the days where I wasn’t as depressed and I could get up and go for a run or go to the gym. But there are moments where I just want to stay in bed and not leave. But I have a job. I have obligations. I have people that I refuse to let down. And I could call out. I could use a sick day because I never have before, but is it an acceptable excuse to say you’re emotionally sick and just need a break? I know I won’t ever do that.
Ironically though, that break, if ever I took it, only makes things worse. I feel guilty for not being stronger. I feel lazy. I feed into depression then it turns back around lashes at me for succumbing to it.
So I get up and I get through the day. Some days are easy. Some days I love. Other days my eyes can’t even stay open, my body hurts. But I walk into work and I smile and I get my job done.
You ask me what’s wrong and I say, tired.
My mom used to ask me why am I always tired and the truth is, it’s easier to say that then admit I’m sad for no reason at all. Take vitamins. Go to bed earlier. But the truth about depression is, no matter how much I sleep, sleep doesn’t fix a soul that is drained.
You ask me why I feel the way I do, and I don’t have an answer.
There’s no way to answer why, because I don’t have that answer. It’s just this feeling. That’s the only way I can describe it. Because when everything in my life is going well and I’m successful and have friends and a loving family and an active social life, I have every reason to be happy and I’m frustrated that I’m not.
So you work at it.
But the truth is, those tough days give me a new appreciation for the good ones. And somehow the silver lining in it once I feel through everything is being overcome with how grateful I am for all of it.