The Mighty Logo

Why I See Depression as a Dark Well

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

I write this from the depths of fathomless depression. I’ve never written from this place before – I usually feel as though I can’t move my limbs, my brain is a fog, insidious, aching. When I am here, down the dark well, I truly don’t believe I can ever climb back out. It feels too hard, too far down, too dark. I can’t speak. The words form in my mind and flit by faster than my mouth can articulate them. So I remain silent. I can’t look around me. I can’t contemplate attempting anything. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.

I want to believe this won’t last long but I am never sure. When I feel no hope, I have no hope I can ever recover. When I open my eyes in the morning, I wish I never had. I wish I could close my eyes forever and never have to wake up with the realization that this is my life. I wish I never was me. Childish, I know. But it’s how I feel – it’s what my mental illness tells me. When night comes, I panic with the thought of sleep because I know tomorrow will come and tomorrow will be another day of darkness. Another day of wandering around my house, lost. Another day of aching in the shower. Another day of contemplating food but never mustering the energy to make any. I try and step out into the sunshine, but it just hurts my eyes. I can’t talk to anyone. I feel as though they can all see me. I feel as though I am the only one who feels like this.

Depression is a lonely existence. Depression can tell you that you are worthless, take your hope, take your dreams, your motivations, your sense of self. It can take all you once thought you were and leave you an empty shell. You can’t even cry because it has sometimes even taken that from you – your ability to feel anything. Some days I don’t think I can continue. Some days I don’t think it’s worth continuing. I don’t know how to continue. I don’t know how to be me. I don’t know how to remember the light, how to close my eyes and just imagine laughter. What does that feel like? I can’t remember. I can’t remember the taste of food. I can’t remember the feeling of love. I can’t remember peace. I can’t remember contentment. I can’t remember hope.

It all feels gone. And I’m alone, in the well, down in the darkness, my fingers raw and bleeding from trying to climb out. I give up. I can’t anymore. I feel I can’t. I think I can’t. But somewhere, far away, in a room with no doors, is a girl waiting to come out — waiting to be freed. She’s in there and she holds your laughter, she holds your dreams, she holds your hope and love and life. She can breathe peace into your life. She can show you the daylight. She has held onto the goodness in your life. She has kept it safe for you until you can find her again.

She’s waiting.

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

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via PointImages

Originally published: July 10, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home