How Depression Is Like a Light Switch I Can't Control

“I am good for a while. I’ll talk more, laugh more. Sleep and eat normally. But then something happens, like a switch turns off somewhere. And all I am left with is the darkness of my mind. But each time it seems like I sink deeper and deeper.” M.H

If depression was as easy as turning a switch on and off, I think the world might be a better place. Imagine yourself on one of your darkest days. It is going to be different for everyone, because we all handle “those days” a little differently. If you are anything like me, your body might feel like it is being weighed down by bags of sand. You might not even have the energy to get out of bed. Now think for a second, how amazing would it be to turn on the switch that will lift those bags of sand and make everything bright and happy again.

But the reality is, you can never really know when that light will shine on you again.

The good days will be filled with laughter and friends. You will see that light that shines bright, making your world a better place. The smile on your face will be a genuine smile. Not the kind of smile we are forced to put on that hides darkness inside of us. Everything around you begins to make sense and you start to think maybe this is the end of all this madness. Maybe I wont struggle anymore. But then, it hits.

Just like that, you are covered again in darkness.

Lying alone in bed at 3 p.m., probably telling yourself that this is just a “lazy day” that soon turns into more and more. Suddenly, you might begin to feel all alone. Sinking deeper and deeper. You probably have not talked to any of your friends, and getting upset over the littlest of things is usually an everyday occurrence. Again, your body may begin to feel like it is being weighed down by bags of sand. Sinking deeper and deeper.

Until that switch turns on again.

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

Unsplash image via Quinten De Graaf

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

Related to Depression

black and white photo of man holding self in darkness

How the Shame Accompanying Depression Was Secretly Ruining Me

We all need to keep each other honest in this world. Shame — humiliation or distress over wrongful behavior — exists for this reason. If we commit illegal acts or take advantage of people, we may be internally distressed or publicly humiliated for what we’ve done. I think we can all understand the need for [...]
sad woman in bed.

What My Depression Looks Like Today

I get out of bed in the morning, some invisible force weighing me down, doubling my weight. I open my closet and gather the first decent looking outfit I find; I choose comfort over style every time. The tears rarely come anymore; I hate this, I truly do, because I need the soothing effects of [...]
Overhead view of woman holding wrapped Christmas gift

What Reminded Me I've Survived 32 Christmases

Collecting Christmas ornaments and decorating a tree is a common tradition for many individuals and families, but how many have experienced strong emotional and sentimental responses to carrying out this tradition? There is one ornament in my collection that has a powerful effect on me whenever I unpack it from its tissue paper padding, straighten [...]

18 Reasons You Might Not Notice Your Child's Depression

It can often be hard to differentiate between “normal” adolescent behavior — acting out, shyness, not listening, sleeping a lot — from signs that may mean your child is struggling with depression. Or maybe your child “seems fine,” but in reality, they’re hiding their depression behind good grades, having friends and being involved in extracurricular [...]