I have tried to explain my depression to people, but the reality is that it’s just not possible. Not because they don’t want to listen, not because they don’t want to understand or help, but because when you explain something it comes from a place of logic. Depression is not logical – it is twisted, it is warped and it lies!!
When I am depressed I am constantly having an argument with myself. The logical part of me wants to get better, the depressed part of me does not know how. The logical part of me wants to explain, but the depressed part of me cannot hear. There is a war going on inside my body between logic and emotion. The logic makes sense, the depression cannot understand.
The arguments go like this…..
Logic says “I am depressed, it’s okay to rest”; depression says, “ I am lazy”.
Logic says “I am loved“; depression says, “I’m unlovable.
Logic says “I am worthy”; depression says, “I am worthless”.
Logic says “I make a difference to the people around me”; depression says, “People would be better off without me”.
Logic says “People want to help me N“; depression says, “Nobody cares, they just pity me”
Logic says “I will get through this”; depression says, “This will never end”.
Logic says “I will feel better if I get dressed”; depression says, “I cannot get dressed, there’s no point”.
Logic says “I should get up and do something”; depression says, “I feel too overwhelmed to do anything”.
Logic says “I have had enough sleep, I shouldn’t be tired”; depression says, “I want to sleep so I don’t have to think”.
Logic says “People benefit from me being here”; depression says, “I’m a burden and all I do is take, take, take”.
Logic says “There is nothing for me to be ashamed of”; depression says, “I am so disgusting and shameful”.
Logic says “I am a good parent”; depression says, “I do not deserve to have children”.
Logic says “I’m doing the best I can right now”; depression says, “I should do more, be more”.
Logic says “I should make an effort to see people”; depression says, “I don’t want to see anyone”.
Depression is not logical. I know in my head that people love me, want to help me and want the best for me. However what I feel in my heart is a totally different story. It’s not something that can be explained to someone who has never experienced that deep, dark hole first hand. People want to understand, but they can only come at it from a place of logic.
What does depression feel like for me?
For me, depression is like being in a tunnel so deep and so dark, that it feels as though it will never end. Sometimes I can see a tiny speck of light at the end, but even then it never seems to get any closer, however hard I try. The darkness is so all-encompassing, so heavy that I feel like I’m stuck in quicksand. Every time I try to pull myself out, I sink even deeper. The walls of the tunnel are covered in words of hate – WORTHLESS…..POINTLESS…..LAZY…..LOATHSOME…..SHAMEFUL…..DISGUSTING…..FAT…..UGLY….. Moving an inch is a mammoth task that feels pointless – why bother getting out of bed, why bother putting clothes on, why bother having a shower, why bother being here at all……?
I feel completely disconnected – I can hear those who love me out there at the end of the tunnel. They are calling me, beckoning me to come out into the light, but I’m stuck in hell. I want to move, I want to be with them, but I can’t breathe, I can’t focus, I can’t think and I can’t speak. How do I ask for help when even I don’t know what’s wrong? How do I explain that my world is crashing down around me, crushing me and breaking me apart when there are so many others far worse off than me? Trying to talk about how I’m feeling will just make everyone else feel down, so why would I inflict my pain on them? That would be even more selfish wouldn’t it?
I know that eating well and doing some exercise would probably help – but it’s virtually impossible to do those things when I can barely get the energy up to walk to the toilet. The idea of making anything more than toast feels too energy draining and I don’t want to eat anyway – food tastes like cardboard. The thought of leaving the house is just too terrifying.
My brain becomes foggy and I can’t understand the simplest of things. When my husband or children ask me a question, I cannot make sense of the words. It’s as though they enter my head and before I can grasp them, they leave again, leaving me feeling empty and helpless.
I don’t want to be part of myself – I escape by binge watching movies or entire seasons of TV shows on Netflix. I do anything to avoid being in my own head which is relentlessly telling me how worthless I am and how pointless my life is.
But one day, I wake up and I don’t feel quite as bad, I don’t feel quite as worthless and I feel a glimmer of hope.
One day I wake up and I’m a bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel.
One day I wake up and I can actually hear the logic and I start to listen.
One day I can think more clearly.
One day it feels like I can survive, at least for one more day!
How does depression feel for you?