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Why I Say 'Nothing and Everything' Are the Cause of My Depression

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When my depression, hits it doesn’t ask if I’m ready. It doesn’t care if I’ve got other things on my mind. It just walks right in, sits at the head of the table and starts the mental static that ruins each day.

I am often asked, “What’s making you so sad?”

If only depression was always the direct result of some outside stimulus. If only. But, in my case at least, that’s not how it is. My depression loves to hide around corners and sabotage me when I least expect it. And I never know if it’s just passing through, or moving in for an extended stay.

So when someone asks why I’m sad, I have no real answer. And saying I don’t know doesn’t seem to be a satisfactory answer for some. If I could pinpoint exactly what’s making me sad, you have no idea how much easier this beast could be to manage. If I could narrow it down to a reason or two, I could make some changes, eliminate the culprits and move on with a happy, depression-free life.

Instead, I now answer “Nothing and Everything.” Nothing and Everything are making me sad. Those two know how to bulldoze me like no others.
Nothing slips in unnoticed and just hangs around in the shadows, while Everything likes to be center stage and remind me that no matter what I do, Everything will still be there. Where Nothing is invisible, Everything is exposed.

Everything likes to tell me I am the center of the universe — that I am, in one way or another, the cause of all that is wrong around me. And as much as I know I’m not that important, Everything helps me find a way to connect everyone’s problems to myself.

Nothing drapes itself over my shoulders, a shroud of heaviness that slows me down, and makes me feel like I’m losing my mind. Nothing is the thing that steals my sense of self and blinds my eyes making it impossible to know who I really am.

They always travel together, Nothing and Everything. They drop in unannounced, take over my house and make a mess. Some days I wake up and they are gone, so I begin the arduous task of cleaning up after them, only to have them return full force the next day. They never alert me to their travel plans.

Because of the uncertainty that Nothing and Everything bring to my life, I remain a mystery to many. Those who try hard to understand the very thing I have spent nearly a quarter of my life living with, and I still can’t explain it.

I imagine I frustrate many people in my life. That’s why I write about depression. I hope my insights on the illness will help others understand that we (those of us who battle depression) are oftentimes just as lost as you.


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Thinkstock photo via AntonioGuillem

Originally published: July 9, 2017
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