How My Depression Changes When Night Arrives

After a long day, I recline in my favorite worn-out, tan chair in hopes of recovering from earlier events. My husband goes to bed at his usual time and it strikes me that I am alone. But I’m not. I’m never really alone. Depression is always there, a weight I am stuck dragging around as if it were an anvil attached to my ankle.

At night, in particular, depression reminds me just how close we are. As the moon creeps into view from my bay window, I feel any semblance of happiness descend with the sun. I have come to find comfort in my pain at times, as it has always been there for me. Familiarity meets me amidst the chaos that is my severely depressed brain. I also find a certain beauty in the depth to which I feel emotions.

The nights where I’m kept awake by the invisible searing in my chest, however, feel unbearable. What was just a bit of sadness throughout the day morphs into an ocean of despair and I lie awake, fearing if I let my eyes close, I’ll drown. Thoughts barrage me, reminding me of all my perceived shortcomings, every mistake — anything depression can glom onto. It’s almost as if my illness is fighting to stay alive just as hard as I am. There are times I question if either of us will make it out alive, as if it were a sentient being and not just a part of my brain chemistry. I feel as if only one of us can survive and depression is stronger and more stubborn.

But after each Hellish night, the sun rises again. As do I. Despite the merciless tugs at my heartstrings, I do not allow myself to become depression’s puppet. I find salvation in the moments I am smiling. I salvage pieces of joy from my life and collect them for the willpower to persist during moments of strife. I live with depression but I am not this illness. Underneath the layers of pain resides a persistently optimistic soul my illness cannot touch because that is the real me, and that me won’t surrender.

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

Thinkstock photo via jossdim

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

Related to Depression

young woman looking depressed sitting on sofa

The Surprising Way a Health Class Changed My Perspective on Depression

For as long as I can remember, depression has colored the way I see myself. I have let insecurity and jealousy define who I am. I allowed the brokenness of my mind to make me hate myself. Health class came in the middle of what seemed like a terrible week. It started off regular — warm up, [...]
Face and hair are on separate layers. Each hair strand is individual object. Cropped via clipping mask. Extra folder includes Illustrator CS2 AI and PDF files.

When You Were Born 'Blue'

I was born blue. I entered the world with the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck, and it wasn’t until a hasty removal that oxygen entered my bloodstream and I became that blotchy, mottled pink of most white babies. If you look through photo albums from the time I was 2 until the time I [...]
Regina Spektor

The Musician Who Made My Stay in a Psychiatric Hospital Tolerable

To the artist who made my stay in a psychiatric hospital tolerable, thank you.  The day I was admitted was a sad day and one of the worst days of my life. During my drive in I listened to Regina Spektor all day and took her words in. I was scared, devastated, confused, hurt and sad. [...]
Young woman is thinking about something in the night

To Get Up, or Not to Get Up — The Battle I Face Every Day

When my alarm goes off at 7 a.m., the ringing is replaced shortly thereafter with the sound of my boyfriend telling me “good morning,” and gently waking me up. When this happens, I always have the same hopeful thought — Today, I’m gonna do it. Today, I’ll be able to will myself out of bed, [...]