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What It Feels Like When Depression Comes Unexpectedly


It started at my desk at work.

At first, I didn’t notice it creep up on me. It started as those restless butterflies my anxiety has made me grow accustomed to, so naturally I ignored them and went about my day. Lunch passed and the butterflies were soon accompanied by a sort of gray fog.

By 3:30 I had to get out of there; I packed up my things and hurried to the elevator. As I stood in front of the elevator doors, I felt it hit me: that dark wave of numbness, mixed with a sharp pang of sadness. I got to my car and barely shut the door before I felt the tears begin to sting my eyes. I forced myself to calm down and drive home. I reminded myself I didn’t need to feel like this, that none of these feelings were real. I tried to listen to a funny podcast, but I could barely pay attention to what they were saying.

Soon I was home, and managed to go about my night for a while. Then a tiny argument with my boyfriend set me off all over again, but this time it came back with a vengeance. I couldn’t keep it together any longer. I started to cry, but not just a few tears. I started sobbing, the kind that makes my face go completely red and my nose drip. The kind that couldn’t just be wiped away after a few minutes, but the kind that demanded to be cried until my tear ducts were empty. By the time I settled down the argument I had been having with my boyfriend didn’t matter anymore, and all I could do was lie down for a while.

I try to be cheerful. I try to look to the better days. It works just enough to keep me going, but just going is not living, it’s just surviving. I soak in the dark burdensome clouds that hang over me. Sometimes, like today, they get so heavy that I can’t lift them off of me. So I must sit, crushed under their weight.

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Thinkstock photo via Poike