Normally, I keep my blog light. I provide tips or books, sometimes I share my dog or writing. This time, it’s just somewhere to put some thoughts. A monologue; a brain dump, so to speak. Truthfully, I’d hope to have found a point as I began this, to not just shout, depression sucks, doesn’t it? at you all, and then move on.
But, here I am. Shouting it, hoping as each word goes down that some sense of purpose for this post will come to me. The thing is, the longer I look at the page, the more appropriate it seems to shout. Because it does suck. And sometimes, we don’t say that enough.
Sometimes we focus so heavily on fixing, on repairing, we don’t take a moment to actually say, ‘This really forking sucks‘. Because none of us did anything wrong, I didn’t make this happen to me. It just happened.
Anxiety. Depression. Mental health struggles. They affect us all, and while the world is waking up to it, the new focus is on getting over it. Sometimes before we’ve even accepted it’s happening to us, to begin with.
monologue/ˈmɒn(ə)lɒɡ / noun
a long speech by one actor in a play or film, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast programme.
Depression comes knocking whether you’re doing good or not. It gives zero forks if you’re in the middle of something important or if people need you. Honestly, it also gives zero forks if you even answer the door, to begin with; it barges through the door saying a quick oops as it leaves destruction in its wake.
It strokes a nail down your skin as you sing the lyrics you usually love to scream, it lingers in moments where you should be filled with joy; it hides behind household items and sits on your chest when you try to sleep. It’s just there, uninvited, and unnecessarily bothering you.
As you can tell, I love metaphors. They’re my favourite way of showing how I’m feeling and explaining it. Right now, the best metaphor I can come up with is this:
I’m driftwood, floating aimlessly down a busy river. I see the beauty, I notice the birds chirp and feel the sun on skin. But I also feel nothing as I’m rushed away. Things passing in a blur, memories vanishing before I’ve grasped them. Worst of all, no one wants to fetch me out of the water, because I look like I’m doing alright. I’m floating, not flailing, so I’m alright, I’m okay.
It creeps up, hiding behind smiles, leaving those around you blissfully unaware that something is wrong. It steals the good, swallowing it whole without chewing, leaving you unsure of what’s up and what’s down. Like a rollercoaster, but there’s no highs or lows, just track which never ends in a dark tunnel where light lives at the end which you can’t reach. I’ve been there before, riding the same ride, only years ago.
I wrote about it, exactly what I’m doing now. It’s described as:
A woman offers a poetic interpretation of depression as feeling like you’re isolated inside a glass box.Depression Feels Like Being Isolated Inside a glass box – the mighty
Both accounts. Both metaphors. But, it still feels sad when I describe depression like this.
It’s never quite what it is. Always a little bit different, but still ever so uncomfortable. It invites pity onto the faces of those who love you, and desperation on the rest to make you smile. So I smile, I laugh. I do all I can to make others comfortable because addressing the pity, the concern and the worries are harder. It’s difficult to sit there and go, ‘Y’know, I’m not doing amazing’, and everyone comfortably moves on. No, people want to talk and check-in, and it’s nice, but the question you get asked is, ‘Are you okay today?’ and you’re never sure how to answer.
Because you can try to be honest, but writing it down makes you stare into the face of the beast you’re avoiding. So you lie, because what even is the truth when you’re twirling in the dark? I know I lie, I lie so much sometimes I convince myself I’m not as bad as I think.
So, while I’ve sat here, telling you about how I am, you may be wondering if I have something up my sleeve to help. Whether I have an answer to you on how to climb out the hole, other than building a ladder.
But, I have no answer. No magical spell or potion can undo it. I can’t give you advice, I can’t tell you it gets better. I can’t tell you that you’ll never experience it again. Because, hell if I know. Does anyone?
I can tell you to do the right things as I have. I told those around me, spoke up, consulted and shared. I booked the appointments and tried to do the minimum while aiming for the maximum. I do it all, and yet, the weight doesn’t shift. The feeling of emptiness lingers, and the wish to feel something, anything, drowns you.
And then, sadness.
Sadness with spits of a smile; smiling with the haunting presence of tears.
You can’t win, so you take the good. You handpick the moments to show you’re not being defeated like their flowers in a flower shop, and you try to be proud of the bouquet. And you try again.
And the things you’ve let slip begin to stack up, and the guilt begins to outweigh the sadness. And then, you feel you have to explain because you want to change the narrative; you want someone to not feel how you do.
So here I am. Trying to be poetic about the fact I’ve been suffering. Standing in the mixed weather, on the empty street with lights on behind closed windows, feeling like I’m being smothered in the dark, by the dark. I’ll get inside again, I’ll dry off from the rain, and it’ll run away to another corner in my mind.
And when it comes back again, I’ll do it all over again.
Because I can do it, even if I don’t think I can. And so can you, if you’re feeling like I am.