When You're Tired of Being Brave Facing Depression

The other night when I was going to bed, I told my fiancee I wasn’t sure I could “do another day like today.”

He quickly asked me what I meant, and I had to run away because I wasn’t brave enough to say it out loud: I can’t take pain like this again for one more day.

He didn’t run after me because he knew I wanted to be alone with my tears. I had been crying all day long over this excruciating pain which I can only describe as pain over my pure existence.

See, when someone does not suffer from the lowest of lows of depression, there is no way to truly describe what’s exactly “wrong” because it’s not one of those quick fix problems like, “Oh, I am sad because someone said something rude to me, or “I’m sad because the girl or boy I like doesn’t feel the same way.” It’s not something that’s easy to articulate.

Really saying what’s going on in your mind is sometimes too embarrassing. It sounds a little “crazy” and doesn’t make any sense.

For me, fantasizing about “going away forever” gives me a sense of comfort, like I have a choice whether or not I will endure this type of pain again. If you can tell yourself you’re not strong enough or too tired to do it anymore, that sense of admitting defeat allows you to see you can wave the white flag of surrender in a way that could have permanent consequences…but you’re only thinking about it.

There is nothing pretty about depression. It’s one of the ugliest things I’ve personally ever witnessed. It’s certainly not attractive to talk about it, especially because of the stigma the majority of the population has about mental illness in general. That is why most everyone, like myself before I began writing to help heal this perception, goes into total isolation and shuts everyone they love out of their life.

It’s the isolation that can kill you. The hours, days, weeks or months you spend hiding out. You can’t let anyone see you this way. Such cruel labels we fear when it’s our brains that have turned against us and not the other way around.

When there’s a suicide in the news, people make comments like, “She seemed so happy” or “He was such a good father and brother,” but they are baffled at why they would take their own life before coming out and asking for help. It’s because depression and mental illness steal the joy from you and blind you from your blessings.

It seems as though people who don’t struggle with depression feel as though they can relate or judge because depression is usually described as “having the blues” or “sadness lasting for weeks” when in reality, it’s much deeper than that.

If I were to be 100 percent honest about what it feels like, I would tell you that it feels like a horrible nightmare you can’t wake up from. It’s like being forced to walk down the worst neighborhood in the world with people throwing knives and shooting at you but you have no protection. It’s a broken record player in your mind you are tied up to all day and night repeating the worst possible things you could ever imagine someone saying to you.

I believe people can relate with sadness and desperation, but the difference is when I go to low levels of sadness, my only options appear to be “disappear and escape.”

When you love someone who suffers from depression or any mental illness, you don’t need to tell them you can relate because you really can’t. Please don’t tell them to snap out of it or that they should be grateful for all the great things they have in their lives. We know that and hearing it makes it worse.

What you can do is remind them that this dark place will pass, because it always does. And that you love them no matter what — their dark side as well as their light side.

Follow this journey on Happiness, Love and Light.

If you or someone you know needs help, see our suicide prevention resources.

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

woman laughing and reading over paperwork

7 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Diagnosed With Depression as a Teen

When I received my diagnosis when I was 15, I felt ashamed and alone. There was no hope provided or resiliency reminders reinforced. I found myself comparing how I felt to what I was used to seeing on TV — girls being completely absolved of their depression within a 40-minute episode and having their anxiety viewed as a cute quirk. They [...]

What I Would've Told Myself the Day I Was Diagnosed With Depression

Poor girl. You are 14 and don’t even know what living is. But you will know. The hard way. In time. You will get depressed sometimes. At 20, you’ll come home from college and swallow pills and sleep but only after knocking out your front teeth and disappointing your parents. However, you will have a [...]

When Depression Is Like Feeling Homesick at Home

Depression is not simply a matter of feeling unhappy. With depression, one cannot just simply think happy thoughts and have a more positive attitude. In fact, there is nothing simple about depression. The best way to describe how depression feels (at least for me) is to compare it to feeling homesick… while you are already [...]

A Letter to My Son About My Depression

Five years. That’s how long it took your dad and I to get pregnant with you. I prayed so hard for you, but my mental state took a beating with each negative test. It was getting harder and harder to get over the disappointment, so we were going to give our hearts some time before [...]