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When the Darkness of Depression Slips In Like a Thief in the Night

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Some days, I feel as if I’ve been robbed. It’s as if, while I slept the night before, a thief snuck in and stole all my joy from me. While he was at it, he saw so much more he could take. It’s like, “Why take the tablet when you can also steal the laptop and the big screen TV?” So he stole not only my joy but feelings of hope and self-assuredness. My confidence in a positive outcome stripped away, and I am left to wander around the emptiness I feel inside and just sit.

I feel so stunned that this thief has come again and stolen all I have. He’s done this a few times before. Feeling sadness instead of joy, hopelessness in place of my hope and helplessness instead of self-assuredness, I am emotionally devoid and taken aback by the return of these feelings. I feel as if people judge me for feeling this way. As if, I handed the robber my keys and asked him to rob me. As if, I should’ve woken up and confronted this thief of joy and demanded he give back all he had taken.

The truth is, I never know when he’s going to stop by my house and steal all I need. Knowing this makes me feel even more helpless. Not only that, but I wonder why it chose me. Why do I only see the clouds and the potential for a storm when everyone around me sees the sunshine through the clouds? Why can’t this thief of happiness go next door and rob someone else?

So here I sit, not talking to anyone, but venting about it instead online. Tears stream down my face as my eyes have become leaky faucets, draining my energy along with the tears of despair. In the end, I’m sure I’ll recover some of what the thief absconded with. Perhaps some of my job, some of my hope and some of my confidence will return, but it takes months to feel just slightly happy.

I’ve come to recognize while most people experience moments of true joy, those moments always feel milder to me. I’m either “just OK” or down in the dumps. I’d rather feel “just OK” than have all I’m capable of feeling taken away from me.

So, what can I do? When the darkness of depression slips in like a thief in the night and drags all the good stuff out with him, what can I do? It’s just like being robbed. It’s like waiting for the insurance to cover the cost of what has been stolen. I wait. I wait for part of what I felt before to come back because eventually it will. Eventually, I’ll feel OK again. For right now, though, please excuse the leaky faucets and broken spirit. This body, this soul, is currently under renovation.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: August 11, 2016
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