You never know what someone’s going through at the time and you should never believe all you see on the surface.
This past decade alone has really been a roller coaster ride for me. I’ve had many highs, but I’ve also had many, many lows. It’s sometimes hard to even look back because there have been so many dark moments that I’m not proud of and periods of time I’d rather not remember.
Everyone bears their own closet of demons and everyone fights different battles. It’s never an easy feat to overcome certain feelings, especially ones that you can’t explain where they come from or how to resolve them.
I’ve decided to venture into some very sensitive territory and talk about Depression because it has been a rather large part of my life, believe it or not. The hardest part is feeling like you’re alone, so this is dedicated to the deeper layer of myself and for anyone out there who feels like there’s no place to turn to and no one who truly understands what you’re going through.
What truly defines Depression? Does being sad all the time make up the gist of it all?
A lot of people actually can’t define what depression is and if they can, majority of the people don’t understand it. It’s not a feeling that you can just turn off. It’s not a means for getting attention or inviting a pity party. Depression is a real thing that you can’t control and I think that’s the worst characteristic about it.
To put an image in your head, I’d like to describe depression as a state of being that consumes you with no given warning. It may come and go, or stay for as long as it likes. There is no source and no reason to its existence but just the mere fact that it exists. The magnitude of it all can range from feeling sad, to useless, to completely dysfunctional. And sometimes when it starts, it manifests. At one point in time, it felt as if there was a large gaping black hole that was sucking the life out of me. A hole that I found myself drowning in, falling deeper and deeper to the point where I couldn’t tell up from down. There was no light, only darkness. And the more I struggled, the more I fell. The more I fell, the more I crumbled.
How can you help someone else?
I think the common mistake that people make when dealing with someone who exhibits signs of depression or who may be going through a period of suffering is to tell them things. This can range from the typical go-to lines of advice and worry:
Don’t worry, things will get better.
Don’t think that way, it will all be okay.
Stop overthinking things, everything will be fine.
Maybe you should see a therapist.
The list can go on and on. But honestly, this is probably the worst thing you can do and the worst advice to give. A person who is suffering from depression, or even anxiety, doesn’t want to be told what to do. All they want, more than anything else in the world, is for someone to listen. Telling them things does not help them at all. It might be a struggle because what else can you really do besides offer advice and positive suggestions? Just be there, listen when they need someone to hear them out, and give them space. Depression is really something that the individual needs to deal with on their own. A person who seeks help, will ask for it. A person who isn’t willing to take advice, telling them what to do and how to feel will only cause more self destruction. But while you keep your distance, always be sure to check up on the person, make sure that you are constantly aware of any red flags.
What’s your story?
Well, I don’t exactly have a complete story. Depression is something that just hits you out of nowhere. It puts you down, makes you feel utterly shitty about everything, and then sometimes leaves without warning. It also affects everyone differently, on different magnitudes, and the response varies based on the individual.
I won’t go too deeply into my history of it because there’s just way too much and some of it is just too hard to write, but I will talk about one period of time that I label as My Great Depression (as depressing as that sounds). This was the longest breathing record that I’ve been depressed. If I can estimate it, I’d say it lasted a whopping four years. That’s a huge amount of time. I hit my all time low then. And trust me, when you think rock bottom, I think I went six feet under. If I could measure, I probably cried a whole new ocean and eventually lost the will to exist. It got to the breaking point where I would conceal how I feel and just pretend, pretend, pretend. Fake smiles got so good that I almost even convinced myself they were real. I broke. I felt numb and then felt the need to feel pain. I shattered. To the point where faking wasn’t possible anymore and functioning properly wasn’t even a choice. I got pretty frail and developed dark, sunken circles. I looked unhealthy and I lost interest in everything. I was forced into therapy, where I then lied of my state to get out of the damn visits. I have scars. I had my silent cry for help. It was probably the darkest period of my life and it’s truly amazing how I’ve managed to pull myself out of it. It is also such a truly scary feeling to not want to be anymore. To see no purpose. And I fight this every once in a while. Maybe not so drastically, but sometimes awfully close. And it’s something that hurts so much because you’re drowning in it and there’s really nothing that you can do. You only wish that you were saved.
Sadly, depression is not something you can run from. There’s no cure and I honestly do not believe in turning to medicine to help “ease” the pain. I feel like that’s just another form of running away from the problem. But, to each their own. My biggest suggestion is to find an outlet. The thing that helped me most was writing. I wrote scattered bits of poetry. I’ve taken several times to look back and read my pieces and it’s shocking to even imagine that all those words ever poured out of me. Whether it be writing, like me, or rocking out to music, fitness, painting, or what have you. Channel your energy into creating something. There are always bad days, and sometimes really freaking shitty days. But we all pull through. Everything is a work in progress and everything takes time.
To all my dearest readers out there, please feel free to send me an email if you need someone to talk to or most importantly if you need someone to just listen. I would love to be able to help if I can and if my help is wanted. It really sucks to go through things alone. And it sucks more to be surrounded by people who love you but they just don’t get it.