The Mighty Logo

When Depression Starts to Feel Like Home

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

It comes it waves.

You try to build a wall to stop it from swallowing you up. The wall isolates you from everything, your friends, your family, the world, sometimes even yourself. You don’t even know what is going on. When somebody asks how you are, you say, “…I’m fine.”

It often feels like depression takes everything away, including feelings. You feel numb. Nothing can seem to make you happy. Everything seems pointless, even the things that perhaps a few days ago you said you’d live for. But now… what’s the point?

Depression doesn’t always mean sadness. That’s where people misuse its name. We throw it around as if it’s nothing serious, as if it’s that disappointed emotion you feel when something didn’t go your way. But depression takes lives. It’s this empty space where nothing else exists but you. You feel like you are screaming for help, and you wish upon the stars just to feel. But it’s just a shout into the void.

Life with depression is like watching people around you breathing, yet your pale blue lips inhale words of self-hatred. You know you should be able to fill your lungs with fresh oxygen, and you want nothing more than to just feel OK, but you can’t. And sometimes it hurts so much that you feel as if your chest is caving in under the sadness. The only thing that stops it from happening is the gasps of air you take in between the tears.

But how can somebody be so full of life and then be empty?

Where does it all go?

Many people don’t want to end their lives; they want to end their pain. It’s so sad that some people aren’t waiting for their happy ending anymore. They don’t expect anything to happen worth waiting for. They are just waiting for the end. I used to wish upon dandelion puffs and shooting stars, hoping to feel something other than nothing. I looked up at a sky of fireflies, and I begged them to stay, I prayed for them to guide me on this hopeless journey we call life. I feel like I’m living in a shell of a body that fights to survive. And it gets to the point where I think… maybe I was born to be sad.

Depression is this never-ending feeling of wanting to go home, but then you realize you are home. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. Depression feels like home; happiness is just a place you visit. When I was a kid I never imagined I could feel so empty. I never thought I’d know what it’s like to want to die or how it could hurt to smile. I never thought I’d know the feeling of trying to fit in when really I’m just a lost puzzle piece that can’t find its place.

But somebody needs this puzzle piece. They need it to solve something, to make them feel complete. I decided to stay put in this place we call home because somewhere, somebody needs me. My family needs me to stay strong when they can’t do it themselves. I need to be here for my sisters, my nieces and my nephews. For my friends. For my future.

If you can make it through a lonely night with nothing but depression’s twisted words to keep you company, you have enough courage to make it through anything. People ask me why I am always there for others even though I’m not well myself. And I answer, “because I know what it feels like when everybody looks the other way.” I want to spend the rest of my life making people feel less broken.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page. 

If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255

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

Thinkstock photo by moodboard

Originally published: March 9, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home