'Hello Darkness, My Old Friend'


It’s there again… that clenching in my throat, that intruding feeling that something is wrong. Sudden shame and fear comes over me like a cloud. I recognize it and I know what it is and it sits heavily upon me.

It’s a disappointment that it shifted so quickly today. Just this morning, I made the acknowledgement that this week was better than the last three. Did I jinx it? I didn’t even realize the change until I said aloud to myself, “I feel good today,” and inside the voice replied back, “but for how long?”

Now, I sit at my desk with the recurring stages of my anxiety and depression creeping back. I pull out my medicine tablet box and take down my daily pills with aggression, almost willing the feelings out of me with each swallow. While the medicine is not a cure-all for me, it helps tremendously, along with therapy and support from my family and friends.

Anxiety and depression are my quiet, unwanted companions that cause so much turbulence and struggle in my life. While I still may not know why I have been dealt this hand, I have come to an understanding of what it is that I need to fight for.

When the fog lifts, for a day, a week or sometimes longer, I laugh, I live and I love even harder because I do not know how long it will last. Those are the moments that are worth everything to me. Would I wish my anxiety and depression away? Absolutely. But at the same time, would I appreciate these other things as much as I do without a mental illness? I don’t know; so I continue to fight.

When the light goes dim and I feel the shadows, I acknowledge it, I sit with it. I simply say, to quote Paul Simon, “Hello darkness, my old friend.” Do what you need to do: make me stronger and then fade again into the background again. You see, I have some very important living to get back to.

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

Getty image via Marjan_Apostolovic


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


Related to Depression

vector illustration of woman's silhouette with music notes falling from hair

10 Show Tunes That Help Me Battle Depression

“Even after the darkest night, the sun will still rise.” That’s what Victor Hugo, the author of “Les Misérables,” says. It truly doesn’t feel that way when I am depressed. There is this unspeakable numbness that comes with depressive episodes which eventually turn into seasons. One of the many things that have always brought me great [...]
illustration of woman's silhouette taking medication

What I Need More Than My Antidepressants

For well over a decade I have been on medication for depression — and I don’t recall a single day where I didn’t question myself about it. Was I being weak? Did that make me needy? Did I really deserve to be on medication just to “feel better?” I’ve wrestled with these questions for so long that [...]
Portrait of redhead melancholic woman

The Problem With Giving This Advice to Someone Who Takes 'Depression Naps'

A few days ago, HuffPost published an article titled “What’s The Deal With Depression Naps?: They may seem good for you, but they’re far from it.” It describes the phenomenon known as a “depression nap,” which is defined as “a period of time where someone takes a lengthy snooze in order to shy away from [...]
Nicole Arbour

Nicole Arbour's New Video Offers a '4-Step Cure' for Depression – There's Just One Problem

Nicole Arbour, a Canadian comedian best known for her videos on YouTube, has a pretty amazing back story. You might also know her from her awful fat-shaming video “Dear Fat People,” or her most recent video about how “depression is all in your head,” but we’ll come back to that. After getting into a car accident, [...]