A Journey with Depression

Depression is real. It is not a crutch people lean on when they are sad. She is a bitch and very real. She’s a seed that slowly finds her way deep within you. She finds pain to feed her need to grow. She pulls that pain in and inside her branches of self hatred rip you apart minute by minute until you are overtaken by pain. This pain runs deep in your soul and steals your inner light because that is what it really needs to thrive.

She is the most evil of mental illnesses. You know you’re in hell – chained to the memories that brought you there. You know you walk a line between this life and the next. Fear overtakes your mind. You see the world in grey and your world fades to a violent black and white movie. Love is impossible to feel or give. She takes from you all that you have worked so hard to find and to have. The embrace of others leaves you feeling nothing but even more alone and hopeless. If the love of your own child can’t bring you back then what can? You become too scared to ask for what you need because what if that last thread back to the light breaks.

She refuses to let you escape and one by one your choices are ripped away.  You slowly shut down and the world becomes a nightmare. You hide behind your fortress and the rest of the world forgets you are there. The pain and the fear battle with your desire to reach out and ask for help.

Yet she can not take away prayer – the one gift that remained in Pandora’s box. Prayer becomes your only hope and so that you do. You pray to a God you’re not sure is listening. You pray to Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, the stars….whoever you think may listen. You beg them to take away the pain. Your knees become bruised just like your soul. You open your eyes and see a glimpse of light. You reach for it. It may be real or false but you reach. You stretch to it and break free of the chains that kept you in hell. One by one angels reach down and pull you back to the light of the world. Yet you know that this time is only temporary. Maybe in days or months or years but deep down you know your feet will walk through the valley again. You will see the dark again.

For now you walk out a stronger person. A once broken  heart and soul now mends to be stronger than before. Your purpose is renewed and in the days of light and glory you work hard to stay there yet always fearing what may come.

This is depression. Sadly though not everyone wants the world to know that they suffer from this. It’s called the silent disease and all of diseases it’s the one that needs to most voice. How ironic? There is a stigma of fear still around mental illness because you can’t see it. We still live in a world that if you can’t see it then it must not be there.  Unlike being diagnosed with cancer people don’t rally around those with depression. They pull away not knowing what to say or do or for overdramatizing something that can be “just treated with a pill”. Trust me I’ve taken ever antidepressant – even the hard stuff. None of it kept me from the place I described above. Their drama is too much for many but they NEED your light and love. They need you to hug them daily and believe in their recovery. They need you to be their angel when they are searching for one. They need you to reach out because when you do you could be pulling someone from the depths of depression and when you realize that you will find a power you never knew you had and they will thank you.