Falling Into the Pit of Depression

The pit is ruthless. Once you fall in, it feels like there is no hope.

Sometimes giving in is easier. Maybe this is the only way to truly feel.

You tripped and fell in, or you got tired and saw the dip in the soil, knowing what it was. Your feet carried you there just as much as your heart.

Your heart feels swollen. With pain, darkness, fear, sadness… the list goes on.

You see, in your minds eye, the bottle of little tan pills on the countertop. You take them, but sometimes the pull of the pit is stronger.

You don’t know if there is a way out, and quite frankly, you don’t know if you care. If someone threw a rope to you, would you catch it and hold on? You are uncertain.

Here, you sit with your pain. Your thoughts are on a repeating loop. You want to hurt, you want to feel.

The pit hasn’t always been here. This ground used to be flat and predictable. Safe. You don’t know where it came from, or what made it. An act of God? Or is it an apparition?

Maybe it’s all in your head. The twisting in your gut tells you this is real though. The hatred, the endless, fierce hatred tells you this is real. The walls are rough and crumbly. Maybe you can find a foothold.

No one told you about this place. You didn’t know a place like this even existed. Sometimes you feel a flicker of hope, but you dash it out. Better to feel dead inside, hollow.

You hear voices, shouts and hollers. It is the ones you love. Are they upset, that you have ended up here again? Are they tired of this pattern you can’t seem to break?

You know others have fallen in too, at different times. You see where they have chipped away at the rocks and scooped out dirt in an attempt to get out. They’ve survived, and you will too. It’s just a matter of how long this will last.

A few days go by, and you are so tired of this place. You make an attempt to rally your spirits, your eyes search out the handholds from years past. You think you see a way out, but it is never certain.

Believing is half the battle. The air up here is so fresh. How you’ve missed the blue sky. Everything looks better on solid ground.

Your path isn’t the same as anyone else’s. There’s no “cure,” no quick-fix. You can’t even say how you got out of that dark place.

There’s no saying when you will return to your wallowing and hiding. It creeps up on you like a shadow. It’s not the unknowns you fear though, it is the actual moments when you are down in the pit that are the worst.

You can warn someone about the dark holes  they might one day find themselves in, but you can’t take their place. You can tell someone “I’ve been there too” or “it gets better,” but words don’t always heal. You can go into that pit with them, but you can’t pull them out.

Being in the pit isn’t a choice, but you can choose to try to get out, over and over.

Here’s to those who do. Here’s to those who don’t. Because this isn’t a contest, it’s an illness. Here’s to you, the hurting and broken down. Gather your strength. See yourself through another day.

You don’t have to live your whole life in the dark.

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

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

Image via Thinkstock.

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

Related to Depression

What It's Like to Be an Asian-American With Depression

This is a familiar story, but I’ve told it again and again. Growing up in a traditional Asian household, there were a handful of subjects I knew never to broach: Academic failure, acting more “American,” sex and mental illness. Despite my parents wishes, I was an observant child. By age 13, I sensed something atypical and malignant [...]
sad woman looking out a window

7 Things Not to Say When Someone Tells You They Have Depression

I have major depression disorder, among other things. There. I said it. Telling people I have depression feels like coming out of the closet — usually depression is perceived weakness as a weakness, and it’s not something people like talking about. I’ve come to the point where I don’t really talk to anyone about it these [...]
A calendar on a cork notice board covered in yellow paper sticky notes with various household chores and errands

3 Things People With High-Functioning Depression Wish Others Understood

What is depression? It is a serious mood disorder. It makes doing everyday things difficult. There are different levels of severity of depression. Some people find it almost impossible, if not impossible, to function on a day to day basis. Others might function well in most situations but can have a depressive episode triggered by [...]
Two rows of benches in a church

4 Hurtful Things I've Heard About Depression as a Black, Christian Woman

Growing up as a Christian, I learned valuable concepts like self-love, community service, selflessness, the power of prayer and forgiveness. One of the biggest lessons I learned in church and from my family was about the power of the tongue. Through scripture, I understood the importance of speaking positivity about my life in order to [...]