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Why My Depression Is Like a Power Outage

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This week, we had a power outage. There are around 20 other houses along our road, all of which had a power outage too. It was a storm that bought it on, however the rest of the village had power. In trying to keep my brain occupied with the lack of light, warmth and things to do in general, I found that maybe I have more in common with power outages than I ever thought.

Although we had no power, everything else carried on. I still had to attend sixth form, still had to get work done and still had to attend planned events. To me, this felt all too similar to my depression. Every day, I wake up despite what was whirling through my head the night before. I may have stayed in bed all day, maybe I only had an hours sleep — I don’t even think I managed to brush my teeth — but still the world goes on. The world doesn’t care about how each and every individual feels. They don’t care what happened to you today, or yesterday or even three weeks ago. Because the world will still go on.

Depression stops people, but depression doesn’t stop the world. Depression is selfish. Depression thinks it’s OK to not let someone out of bed to go to work, even though their employer threatens to fire them if they don’t attend. Depression thinks it’s OK to not give someone the energy to eat a meal, even though their doctor demands they eat three substantial meals a day. Depression thinks it’s OK to not let someone complete their assignment, even though their teacher will pull them out of their course if they don’t hand it in.

I really related to Thursday’s power outage. Each and every day, the weather in my head is different. Occasionally there are amazing bouts of sunshine, most of the time it is constant rain with a slight wind and then every so often, there’s a storm. The rain isn’t enjoyable, but it’s bearable. But whenever there’s a storm, it wipes me out. I can’t function. My whole body stops. I can’t move — my God, it’s even hard to breathe. But that doesn’t matter, does it? Because still I’m expected to carry on with my life as if nothing is the matter.

It’s just like a power outage, really. The world doesn’t stop for a power outage and the world doesn’t stop for depression.

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Unsplash photo via Chris Lawton

Originally published: May 20, 2017
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