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The Ugly Truth of Major Depressive Disorder

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Unfortunately I know the difference between living and surviving my life.

My definition of living would be waking up, getting out of bed and doing the normal steps of the morning without pain and discomfort and an overwhelming sense of dread.

When you are surviving your life, each small step that seems to come so easily to most human beings feel like the hardest task you have ever had to do. That is what I feel like when my depression is at a bad low.

There is no joy, no ease and no hope.

Each step I am taking has 1,000 thoughts of why I should just go back to bed and forget about making any attempts. Everything hurts. Heaviness on my heart, heaviness in my head, a black and dark sadness in my eyes and soul.

The most difficult part is the pretending I am OK, pretending I am capable of being present without this burning desire to retreat back to isolation where I feel safest, where I feel I can be how I truly want to be. Alone in my despair and dread.

The negative thoughts coming at a rapid pace are too much to handle and make the focus on anything I need to get done pretty much awful. The self-hate, the doom, the hopelessness feels all too familiar, and that is not a good thing because it makes me realize my quality of life is really not that great. Which leads me to start the great depressive debate where I question my existence and the never-present feelings of peace and content.

My prayers for days like this are the following:

1. Please help me.

2. Please nobody ask me how I am.

3. Please let me go back to bed and sleep away this pain.

4. Please explain to me why I am not getting any better and only worse.

This energy, life-sucking disease has its stronghold on me, and I am completely aware of this, but there is nothing I can do. No magic solution. No gratitude list or telling myself to “just be happy” because nothing works.

You just hang on and try to recall what it feels like to be at least able to drive down the street without fear and angst.

This is what it is. This is the ugly truth. There is no sugar coating because being honest about it may help someone else who is too petrified to tell their truth about this experience.

This is the no-matter-what depression I speak about. This is the “if you looked at my life on the outside” and then read these words you would not think they belonged to the same person. But they do. Even though every part of my heart and soul wants it not to be, it’s what lives inside of me.

My hope is that one day something will work, something will change, something will take this black and dark pain, something will lighten this up somehow.

But until then, I wait. I try to pretend I am strong enough to handle this because that is my only option. This is what it is, and unless I accept it, I magnify the amounts of suffering I endure.

This is not a “please feel sorry for me” type of thing. This is just a clear window into my experience with major depressive disorder. I’m doing this so if someone in your life has it, you can stand beside them while they try to slay this disease and you can remind them you love them.

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Originally published: May 11, 2016
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