themighty logo

When Depression Is Like a Maze You Can't Escape


I can remember going into a mirror maze with my brother. He ran ahead, leaving me lost. He called out to me and I saw him. I ran to him only to smack face first into the glass. He called me again and I yelled, “Where are you?”

“Over here!” he answered.

I again ran into the glass. This time I disgruntledly told him to come to me so he could lead me to the exit.

This is how I think of my depression.

I am wandering through a maze. I am blindfolded and it is pitch black all around me. Everyone else is gliding easily through as if they have a map. Every time I break down and cry, someone spins me around and I lose all sense of direction. Those days when I sleep too much, someone changes all the correct turns so I am again lost.

People call out, “Why can’t you find the exit? It’s right there! Have you even tried looking?”

I cry for help. A friend or family member leads me to a fork but then leaves me again in the dark.

Alone, I feel the walls closing in. I’m sure I’ll never get out.

People pass, knowing something’s wrong, but don’t stop to help. They tiptoe around me as I lie sobbing in a dark corner.

But I am not allowed to give up. My blindfold and the pitch black — they are not excuses for failing.

Everyone has baggage. They deal with it and carry on with their lives. Everyone else can get out of the maze fine! Why are you struggling? You’re smarter and more capable!

I turn the corner only to find another dead end. Frustrated, I turn around and try again. Every dead end, every time the maze shifts, I feel like giving up. I’ll never get out. I’m not good enough to get out.

I shake my head and tell myself I must keep trying. It’s dark. I’m blindfolded. But I can’t let it stop me from reaching the exit.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock