There is ample information and facts on the internet about depression so I won’t go into any of that. I will just talk about my personal experience of it to see if it can help anyone relate or further understand, or to know you are not alone! Everyone is unique and will experience depression differently, but there are some commonalities.
For me, it comes in waves, fluctuates, nags at me or gets stuck! My depression has a voice of its own and I call him ‘Flat’. It could be one of my identities (I do have Dissociative Identity Disorder), or it could be that I, Tracey, get depressed at times, and sometimes the sometimes can be a lot of the time. I don’t like to admit it because I am often seen as bubbly, cheerful and positive. I am not a negative person, but I have realised depression has nothing to do with being a glass half full or empty person. Depression doesn’t care about your positive mental attitude. It is an illness and for me, it speaks, lies, lies and more lies about how I cannot face the day, how I am better of in bed all day, or worse, dead! That it would do everyone a favour if I wasn’t burdening them anymore. That I suck the life out of everyone. That I am selfish. If I hear news that someone has committed suicide, my depression says to me ‘you couldn’t even do that right, are you jealous of them? bet you wanna try again now?’. Absolutely abhorrent lies.
Physically, depression to me feels like I am being strangled and I feel lifeless and limp. My brain feels like a congested fog and I cannot work out the wood from the trees. It impacts my clarity, concentration and decision making. At times I feel numb, like every ounce of compassion has been drained from me and I have nothing left to give or receive anymore.
Depression is like a black cloud following me, tripping me up, sometimes screaming at me to hide away, to retreat, to not speak. Sometimes the distress of the depression pangs in waves of torment and I do not know how to comfort myself. I don’t cry, my depression tells me I don’t have enough love in me to be able to cry, I am an empty vessel.
Depression aches and causes pains, sometimes causes me to hallucinate, dream and think something catastrophic will happen soon. It fills me with dread and worry. Sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my chest, like an elephant crushing my bones, but only I am gagged and cannot tell of this pain.
Depression is dark and takes me to the pit, when I think I’ve reached the bottom more of the pit opens up and swallows me whole. I drown! I drown in thick, black oil! I cannot escape it’s clutch. It feels like there is no way out of this unending despair, sadness and grief.
Depression sometimes whispers when I think I am doing well. I can be having a fun day and then the whisper makes me shudder as it says, this happy feeling is fake. You are not real!
What I have learnt it that I can talk back to ‘flat’ and I say, I am real, I am loved and I love well. I can be happy and I am blessed. I will live a full life. I can be free. I, my strong voice, tells depression the truth and puts it right. I won’t be beaten by its lies, I won’t be beaten by its smothering anticipation of dread, I will conquer, I will win! I am winning!