The 3 Weeks When My Depression Nearly Swallowed Me Whole
If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.
The past few weeks have undoubtedly been some of the hardest of my life. I have faced battle after battle and it has been exhausting, to the point where I felt all the progress I have made had been stripped away completely.
There is still such an enormous lack of understanding around depression. I felt the darkness encompassing me like I have not felt in such a long time. I was waging a war on two fronts; my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression crashed into one another and my life became unmanageable. I had the all-too-familiar battles of still trying to find a psychiatrist and when I did, it was a complete disaster.
I felt desperate; no one understood how bad I was feeling and to be told in an off-handed way that I was “treatment-resistant” by a psychiatrist that I had waited weeks to see was nothing short of devastating. I felt helpless and hopeless, and my mind went to a dark place and stayed there. One of my biggest passions is writing, and I would sit in front of the computer and just stare at a blank screen, not able to put how I was feeling into words — in fact, not able to put anything into words at all. I was totally debilitated.
The only hope I had is that I would wake up the next day and feel just a little bit better, but it just wasn’t happening.
For such a common mental health condition, there is still so much flippancy in the medical community about how to treat it. I had indicated the thoughts I was having and that I was scared, and my doctor barely flinched at the information. Instead of getting the help I needed by talking to someone, she wrote me a script for a higher dose of antidepressants. I have struggled with my mental health for many years, so falling into this dark hole was a dangerous time for me. I couldn’t see the point in trying anymore if it all led to me crying uncontrollably on my sofa. I felt alone and dejected and couldn’t rid myself of the whole-body feeling of the darkness surrounding me.
I knew I needed to keep going, to take one day at a time and I knew I was in this battle alone. I tried to sleep as much as I could to make the days shorter, anything to make it to the next one. I couldn’t shower, I wasn’t eating, but I didn’t care. At the end of the second week, I forced myself into the shower. The water felt like it was washing some of the darkness away. I had achieved something. Like wading through a pool of mud, I kept going, wanting to give in but determined not to.
It took a full three weeks of this before one morning I woke up and things didn’t hurt so much. I could breathe again and I didn’t wake up crying.
Depression is a sinister illness and to try and explain to people how bad you can actually feel can seem impossible, which in turn makes it very isolating. I have come through the other side but there are lingering effects from experiencing such deep emotional wounds. As difficult as it is, I still think trying to talk to a therapist or loved one is so important. Suffering in silence can be extremely dangerous and debilitating.
So I am back in the light and starting to do the few things that I enjoy. Depression is always with me, like a silent partner, but I choose not to give it the energy it craves.
Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash