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The Quiet Moments of Victory Against Depression

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It’s a late night in the autumn as I watch my friends move across their stage. Even if it’s only for the next 40 minutes, the crowd, the room, the building and the night are theirs. While I stand there, drinking in the sounds of guitars, bass, drums and vocals the same familiar rush crosses over my mind:

There is no sadness here. This night is just as much mine.

That’s what this constant war of head versus heart has become; those quiet moments of victory. Fighting to make it through the days that feel like their own months in order to find that solitary minute where the sadness leaves. The cresting waves of depression quell and are held back by the overpowering high of one true thought:

I. Am. Free.

There is no darkness, no clouds, no pain in those single moments of victory. There is only the feeling of the true self that has been lost along the path so long ago. There is no questioning or shaking of hands; there is only the idea to run, to jump, to crash one human body into another, to sing until my lungs give out and I’m left with the hoarse feeling of raw muscles straining to keep sound alive. I’m left with the feeling I have so desperately sought at the bottom of bottles, beds of strangers, and through self-harm. I’m left with the inconsequential and unwavering freedom that, for the next 40 minutes, everything will be fine.

Eventually, the time stops, the night comes to its end and I’m found staring at the ceiling. I’m found staring at the same things I had stared at for days on end which I cannot escape from. The same thoughts and feelings: emptiness, loneliness, longing, heartbreak — the sense of being worthless, pathetic and weak. The choking chains of the monsters in my head come creeping back in and wrap themselves back around my skin. Whispering, “You’re ours again; you always are.”

The soft ringing I can feel in my head says otherwise. There are moments where I will break away and find peace. I smile to myself as I close my eyes knowing that, while they may have a hold of me for now, they can never take one thing from me.

They can never take those quiet moments of victory. Even if they’re only for 40 minutes.

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

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

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Unsplash photo via Anthony Delanoix

Originally published: April 21, 2017
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