*Warning: may be triggering for those struggling with depression.*
You know what depression can look like on the outside: I haven’t showered in two days. My sink is piled with dishes. Things are strewn all over the apartment. I oversleep every morning. Clothes are scattered around my room and I can’t tell you the last time I cleaned the bathroom.
You see what depression can be externally, but do you know what it feels like? Do you know what’s going on emotionally? Allow me to enlighten you.
It feels like a continuously cloudy day. I feel the clouds in my eyes, and my lids are lowered. I feel it in my body, and all basic activities are so overwhelming. I feel like someone dimmed my internal light. I’m so tired, like a fog will wash over my body until I’m drifting off into a deep sleep. It’s all I want. It’s all I look forward to at the end of the day, and yet, it takes me hours to fall asleep at night.
Worst of all, I feel the clouds in my brain. The brain fog is probably the most challenging. I can’t concentrate at work. I forget easy things like names or appointments. I don’t remember who I told what to. I black out, and I can’t tell you how I got from point A to point B or what I ate today or what I accomplished. Without a to-do list, I am not useful. Let’s be honest, even with a to-do list, I still can’t get anything done.
I’m falling down the Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. I’m falling, falling, falling. I can’t stop it. I’m spinning and I have no control. I don’t have enough energy or focus to make myself stop falling. I don’t have the energy to go to work. Scratch that — I don’t even have the energy to get out of bed.
I can’t do anything right. I know what would make me feel better: going on walks, going to the gym, taking a shower. But my body is confined to the shackles of depression. I can’t take them off. And yeah, I feel like a little bitch for wallowing in my self-pity. Get up and make something of yourself, you big baby! But I can’t do it. I can’t snap out of it. Depression is pulling me down further, reaching up with it’s dark, foggy, sleep-inducing hands. Will I have the strength to pull myself out? Right now, it feels like the answer is no.
It feels like there’s no hope.
Except there is. I’ve been through this so many times, and even though it’s never been this bad, I always pull through. But god, I’m so tired. I’m so tired of trying. I’m so tired of trying to pick myself up enough to go to work. I’m so tired of the lack of focus and concentration. Oh yeah, and the lack of sleep makes me really tired, too.
I am sick, and it’s not really something you can see, other than the surface level tears and laziness.
Look, I can’t really give you a bright twist to this post. I am not in a good place. If you know someone who is struggling with depression, go visit them. Hug them extra hard. Send them love however you can. They really need to feel like they aren’t alone, even though you cannot fix them. Ask them what you can do to help.
It never really helps me when people say “You’re not alone,” but I know it comes from a good heart. I don’t like it when people tell me to “hang in there.” What do you think I’ve been doing? But I know that whatever kind words someone is offering is a message of hope. It’s a message of love. It’s people reaching out because they care about me. There are people out there who want me to get better. Those sweet comments and DMs may not help me feel better at word-value, but they show that I have a larger support group than I could have possibly imagined.
Please keep sending me love. I need it more than you could know.