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When Depression Makes You a Living Paradox

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I am alone in my house when symptoms of depression cloud my head. Loneliness, sadness, fear and hopelessness set in. I know I have several tools to combat them, yet I sit and stare blankly at the wall.

I glance at my phone, knowing I could call someone to help pull me out of my own clouded head. In this moment, I want nothing more than for someone to tell me I will be OK, and affirm they are there for me. However, nothing terrifies me more than the thought of allowing someone to peak inside of my dark space. Will their opinion of me change? Will they understand?

Soon after, a friend texts me and invites me out for dinner. I exhale a sigh of relief, as this will give me a chance to escape the heaviness that loneliness brings on. In the same breath, the simple thought of getting dressed, leaving the house and smiling and laughing with friends exhausts me. 

I feel as if I live every day like this. I desperately want to be understood, yet can’t fathom the idea of sharing the most personal of thoughts. I don’t want to be lonely, but I isolate myself from the people I love. I can’t imagine staying this sad forever, but I can’t imagine ever being happy again either. 

This is depression.


The fact that I’m writing this article, completely self-aware of my contrasting thought patterns, yet unable to stop them.

This is what makes living with depression so taxing. How am I suppose to reach out for help when I can’t even decipher what I want and need?

There is hope. The stark contrast between what I ultimately want and what I am able to bring myself to do is utterly frustrating. It makes me feel weak, misunderstood and disappointed, but I am not my depression. I may be a walking paradox, but I am also strong. Fighting the urges to isolate, not use coping skills and battle with myself makes me brave. 

I hope one day I will live life with more clarity; however, for now, I will try to be gentle with myself when I acknowledge contrasting thoughts arising. The harder option is often the one that helps us grow and flourish beyond the iron gates of depression…the problem is finding the strength to choose it.

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Image via Thinkstock Images

Originally published: November 10, 2016
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