The Deep Darkness of Depression
It starts slowly. First it visits you at night.
It is smart. It starts when you’re the most vulnerable. It knows there is nothing you can do but lay there and listen to it. You do your best to ignore it, knowing once you fall asleep it will be silenced until tomorrow night. It is greedy. It wants to grow and to do what it needs to take parts of you. Each part it takes from gives it more strength. The stronger it gets the weaker you get. It won’t stop growing until there is nothing of you left. Usually it first takes your motivation; that’s one of its favorites. Then it takes energy and happiness. It also likes appetite and sleep; sometimes it takes them, other times it forces them upon you.
Once you realize what is happening you’re already too tired to fight back. You watch helplessly as it grows. You watch yourself become its puppet. Its whispers intensify. It tells you no one likes you. It tells you that you are nothing. It tells you that you are worthless. It tells you that you don’t deserve help. You feel like you’re suffocating. You don’t know where to go or what to do. It has blinded you. You are alone and lost.
Sometimes you hurt yourself. You sigh. You feel like can breathe. You feel relief. Relief from all the pain, relief from the insecurities. Then it begins to whisper again. Stronger, Louder. Disgusting. Ugly. Worthless. You hurt yourself again. You feel relief, but it doesn’t last as long. Each time the relief gets shorter. The pain is
getting stronger. You want it to stop.
It offers a suggestion. It tells you it will be so much better afterwards. It says people will be happier once you are gone. It says the pain will be gone. You are too tired to argue. You can’t separate your thoughts from its thoughts. You listen to it. You close your eyes. You fall asleep. You open your eyes. You look at your phone. You realize you’re alive. It tells you, you’re a failure, that you couldn’t even kill yourself. You get dressed, you go to class.
To anyone reading this, please know you are not alone. I have been there. I know what it’s like to use the last amount of strength you have to just breathe. I understand what it feels like to not want to exist anymore. I want you to know you are worth recovery, you are worth living, which is something I still struggle with.
I want you to know it will get better, even if you think it won’t. I know you might be thinking, “No it won’t, there’s no way it can get better.” There is no way around it: depression sucks. While I can’t promise you when, I can promise you it will get better. Until then, know your feelings are real and they matter
There are resources available to help you. You can call a hotline. If the thought of calling a hotline causes you anxiety (like it does for me), or if you live with other people and can’t talk in private, you can text crisis counselor. Crisis Text Line is a resource available 24/7 in the U.S. If you text START to 741-741, a live trained crisis counselor will respond to your text. You can talk to a teacher, friend, parent, doctor, anyone you trust.
Take a moment and stop. Feel your heart. Still beating. Still fighting. You made it another day. And you can make it one more.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
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Photo by panic_attack