If I’m honest with myself – and, to be honest, I’m often not – my depression has been a problem lately. It’s left me feeling listless and worthless, which isn’t uncommon for me.
I’ve been like this…well, pretty much always, I guess. These bouts of lowness, of feeling like I’d be better off not existing, like maybe no one would really notice or mind that much if I wasn’t around. It’s a terrible way to feel.
The disjointedness. Feeling like I’m jumping from rock to rock, idea to idea, with no coherent connection between them. Hopping across stones over a rushing river, or maybe it’s lava. Not caring enough to look down to find out. What does it matter, if it’s water or lava? Falling in would kill me just as dead either way.
Or the emptiness. The sense that you’ve somehow become hollow inside, waiting to be filled up by something, anything, but nothing is forthcoming. It’s disheartening.
With the emptiness comes the loneliness, the isolation, the sense of being cut off from everyone. Like there’s no one I can talk to about it, no one who would understand.
I came to work this morning, more out of habit than anything. I didn’t want to come in. I didn’t feel like I could contribute anything worthwhile. I wanted to call in sick, to be honest. Call in depressed. Is that a legitimate reason to be out? It should be, but it probably wouldn’t look that way from the outside. Because the truth is, I just don’t feel like being here today. I don’t feel like being anywhere.
I know it’s all a lie. Depression is a liar, but a damned persuasive one. It lies and it lies, it fills your head with falsehoods and emptiness and a smothering blank of despair, and it tells you this is all you are. All you’re worth. Depression lies, and I try to lie to myself that I’m okay and that I can handle it. But the truth is, the honest truth that I don’t share even with myself some times, I can’t handle it. The depression is always stronger than I am. Always. Even if I push it back this time, it will return. It always comes back. Things I thought I’d conquered, fears I’d believed I’d overcome, slip back in insidiously, slinking in from the dark corners and making themselves at home as if they’d never left.
I’m not alone. I’m not. I’ve got a support group, a good one, one filled with people who love me and whom I love, too. But right this second, in this place, I don’t feel it. Depression’s lie – I’m alone – feels so real. So true. And then it starts whispering in my ear that this is what I deserve: being alone. Apart. Empty. Depression is a bastard and a liar, an entity made up of all the worst things in your soul, the bits you try to forget or push out of yourself or ignore and hope they’ll go away on their own. Depression is made up of those, finds more of them to add to itself, builds itself up into this monolithic force that you can’t resist.
I want to be able to end this post on a note of hope. It’s hard, right now, in the throes of the depression, to even think positively, even though I know this isn’t permanent. The usual platitude, “This, too, shall pass,” doesn’t feel true at all.