The Mighty Logo

When Depression Is a Sneaky Little Bastard

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

The thing is, he’s a sneaky little bastard.

He shows up to the party uninvited and never speaks above a whisper. You catch glimpses of him out of the corner of your eye, but he is elusive and always dressed in black.

He whispers incessantly. You think his words are your own.

He reminds you constantly you have a great life, that you are just ungrateful. Every day he asks, why can’t you just be happy?

He tells you nothing is wrong. He tells you it’s you, you are what’s wrong.

He tells you it will pass. He tells you it will last forever.

He is a man of contradiction and still you believe every whisper.

He tells you you are weak and burdensome. He tells you you are strong and asks why you haven’t just picked yourself up already?

He says, shhh, no need to speak up, it will be better tomorrow, no need to speak up its just life and life is struggle and how can you complain when there are so many who have it harder than you?

He lies. He lies. He lies.

Worthless. Broken. Too ugly to love, he says.

Life is meaningless. Hopeless. Joyless, he says.

You have nothing to offer, they would be better off without you, he says.

He tells you he is you and you are he. We are we and and our words are reality.


And the thing is you don’t even know he has snuck in until he has settled in, suitcase, briefcase, nutcase and all. He has made himself breakfast, dusted his bookshelf and unpacked his bags. He’s put his food in your refrigerator, his toothbrush in your bathroom, his slippers beside your bed.

And then one day something inside of you breaks from the weight of him and you weep and you speak broken sentences to your husband and you say, “Something is wrong. I can’t describe it. I don’t have the words. I am afraid. Something is not right.”

And just saying those words aloud sends rays of sunlight beaming into your dark house. They light up every room, every corner, every hallway. And you see for the first time the sneaky little bastard has not only joined the party, he’s moved into your house, your room, your bed!

And then you speak his name to a friend. And another friend. And another friend. And every time you say his name out loud another of his bags gets thrown out the door, another of his lies is silenced.

Getting him out is not easy. He likes it here. He wants to stay. But his presence blackens your whole world, your whole being, it confuses you every minute of every day. It kidnaps your identity, holds your spirit hostage.

So you know he must go. It may be a fight to the death. You may need backup. New weapons. Time. But he must go.

The sneaky little bastard has to go.

This post originally appeared on Ifthoumayest

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

Originally published: November 3, 2016
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