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3 A.M. Is My Depression's Favorite 'Party Hour'

Last night around 3 a.m. — or as I like to call it, “depression’s favorite party hour” — I sat with it staring me down like an ugly monster with a snaggletooth smile.

I glanced down to my hands that had previously been folded in prayer that were now clenching at my sheets. The depression had got me, deep in my chest. Down into its lair I went. I grabbed my journal and out of sheer desperation, I started writing down all the reasons I needed to live, the reasons why I need to make it to morning light.

With darkness around me and a face drenched with tears, I began to write.

My dog… Oh wait I have to give her up because being disabled with Crohn’s, I can’t afford her and I’ve been having a tough time walking her. My depression grinned as if to say: “I gotcha there.”

I went on. My kids… But they are 30 and 35. They do not need me anymore.

Breathe and keep writing, I thought. Keep writing.

My cats… and before depression could pull me in, I shot back: “Be quiet, I’m thinking.”

I know being in my head with this cruel villain can be dangerous and feel like there is no where to hide. There is so much junk in my head sometimes. It’s like my favorite junk drawer where all the crap goes that I can’t compartmentalize. My thoughts are in free fall, floating like objects in space with no gravity. Not good. Back to my writing.

My kids. Yes they do need me. I hope to be a grandmother someday, I cannot miss it. Who would drive my kids nuts, if not their mom?

My cats. Who would brush them with as much love and style as I do? Who would make sure their kitty McMansion is clean?

Now it’s 4:30 a.m. and I can almost hear the morning birds. I looked at my journal with such gratitude. What would I do without you, my confidante, my safe place to do battle with my depression? I give it hug and tuck it away for another day…

The morning birds are singing now. Today I still have my dog, Hattie, and the snow is melting. Time to get up, take it easy and know that while I may have conquered my depression last night, there will be days it will reappear, ready to rumble. This I know to be true, but I also know I can win. With my journal in one holster and my faith in the other, I take it one minute at a time and one day at a time.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz.