'I'm Safe,' Depression Said
“I’m your friend,” Depression said to me one day.
“I’m comfortable,” Depression said. “I’m a place you can fall into when you’re overwhelmed with fatigue. Why the constant battle against me? Lean into my embrace, and soon nothing else will matter.”
“I protect you,” Depression cajoled. “That rejection you fear so much — that pain — you will never have to deal with it when you come close to me. I hold your best interests; I don’t want you to be hurt.”
“Shut them out!” Depression commanded. “They will let you down. Your friends are human, after all. I am the only one who will stay with you. I am the only one who will understand. I am the only one who will never question you. No one else must have a hold over your heart. I am your jealous mistress; no one else may have you.”
“I’m you,” Depression declared. “I am an integral part of your identity. Without me you don’t know who you are. Without me it feels uncomfortable; without me you feel naked. I think you won’t admit it to yourself, but you like being around me. I’m safe.”
“I can help you cope,” Depression wheedled. “A little bit of pain here, and soon you’ll forget about your emotional woes,” she promised. “There, you feel better now. See?”
“You’re good for nothing,” Depression murmured. “You deserved that pain you inflicted on yourself. No! I said to shut them out! Shut your friends out. They can’t help you. They’ll only judge you. Stay… with me.”
“You’re good for nothing. Nothing! And you know I’m right,” Depression said relentlessly. “You’re a bad friend. You’re a bad partner. You’re a bad daughter. No one can stand you. You don’t even like yourself,” Depression cackled. “You’re good for nothing.”
“Listen to me,” Depression commanded. “You’re inflicting pain on everyone you love. You can see it in their eyes. No, listen to me!” she snapped. “You don’t deserve their care. You don’t deserve their friendship. You don’t deserve their love. You’re good for nothing. No! Stop fighting. I have power over you.”
“You don’t deserve this life,” Depression mused. “Can you justify your existence? Can you justify the time, money, food, water, and oxygen you take up? You’re good for nothing. You know I’m right: you’re telling yourself that more often than I’m telling you.”
“I can promise you an end to this torment,” Depression smiled at me. “It will end soon. Trust me.”
“I don’t trust these doctors,” Depression muttered. “I don’t trust these counselors. I don’t trust their medication.”
“Stop fighting,” Depression pleaded. “Stop fighting me. I’m your friend.”
“You’re shutting me out,” Depression protested. “Please… don’t shut me out!”
“You used to listen to me,” Depression lamented. “We used to be friends.”
“I’ll be back… you know I will,” Depression whispered. “I’ll be here for you. I’ll always be here for you.”
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo by Adkasai