I am finding lately, perhaps more than ever, that depression is a fight of the mind and of the soul. It really is living with a body that is trying to survive and a mind that is trying to die. It really is like drowning. It really is like climbing a mountain that never seems to end.
I sat in the shower today and wondered to myself just how i could explain what depression felt like to someone else that had never experienced such melancholy. I came up with several metaphors. None of which really described depression to the extent that i wanted. They didn't describe the feeling of utter suffocation while still physically breathing. They didn't describe the horrific thought that i might never feel happiness again. They didn't describe what it felt like to be scared of opening your eyes and facing a reality that seemed to only consist of disappointments. Finally after sitting there for ten minutes, i decided that depression could never be described in a straight forward way and that no single description was ever going to be sufficient.
I want anyone reading this to visualize as clear as possible that you are standing in a room. The room is the brightest white that you have ever seen. You look to your right and the wall is filled with vibrant images of you and friends, your family, and the people who are closest to you in your life. They are all the pictures from back in the day. You are smiling in them. You are laughing, and most importantly, you are living. You look away for just one second and when you glance back at the wall of photographs, it has faded to grey. It's still filled with pictures of you smiling, but you don't recognize the person in those pictures. They look like you, and they are with the people that love you, but the memories are so diluted and polluted with your depressive state that they have eluded you entirely. Suddenly, the room is dark, the door is locked, and you are left in an empty room filled with photographs of the person that you used to be.
To say the least, depression is difficult to understand from the outside. It is even more difficult to manage and survive from the inside. It is the biggest mountain that you will ever have to learn to climb. It will test you in ways that you didn't even imagine to be possible. It will make you feel nothing and everything at once. It will make you question whether survival is an option. It will make you want to burn the whole deck of cards because every hand you are dealt seems to be worse than the last. Truthfully, I could go on forever about what depression looks and feels like in my world. It is all consuming, and ultimately, a horrific obstacle. But, despite all of that, i just want everyone reading this to know that aside from all the headache, it can be really beautiful. I want you to know that it is possible to lose 100 battles but to win the war. I want you to know that there might not look like an end, and maybe there wont be, but there is a better day ahead waiting for you to reach it. I want to tell you that no matter how badly you want to give up, find that one ounce of your being that still wants to survive to see your first born child. The part of you that wants to see your little sister graduate. The part of you that wants to make your way out into the world and help someone else with this struggle. You are not alone, and you never have been. You might wake up alone, and you might feel alone, but there is a million people out there that can relate to how you feel without you even having to verbalize it.
I can't tell you that you will remember the person staring back at you in your old photographs or that you will be that person again. All that i can tell you is that the person staring back at you right now is in the midst of growing into a person more beautiful than the person in those pictures could ever imagine being.
After all, "the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."
My name is Morgan and I have a passion for writing, just as I have a passion for supporting those that suffer from various mental health concerns. I fully believe that each day is brand new and we can do with it as we wish. Mental illness is crippling, and you may lose the battle but that does not mean that you will lose the war. Keep fighting and know that you are not, and never will be, alone.