Recently there have been a lot of articles and commentary regarding depression, anxiety, mental health, and suicide. I read these articles and can’t help but feel as though people think they know what someone else’s mental health was/is like. I know that mental illness and diseases have similarities defining them, but I won’t act like I know anyone else’s experience with depression or anxiety. I only know mine.
My depression. A shadow lurking in the background. Sometimes unnoticeable even to me, but always present, ready to take advantage of any vulnerability.
My depression. Sometimes it wraps around me so tight that it’s hard to breathe. It’s so tight and heavy that the weight is too much to even sit up, or get out of bed.
My depression. It consumes my thoughts as I lie awake, trying to sleep. Sleep is the first guard I put up- but soon depression creeps even into my dreams, becoming inescapable.
My depression. It strangles my relationships, sucks the energy out of me to return phone calls, texts, emails. It slowly creates mountains between me and the people closest to me. So many relationships have become distant or nonexistent due to the power my depression has had over me.
My depression. The guilt it feeds isolates me from those I love most. The support, love, fear, frustration, and strain it causes on others strengthen my guilt and fuel my isolation.
My depression. It feeds my self-hate. It replays mistakes I’ve made over and over in my mind. It recalls awkward conversations from years in the past, it continuously finds my faults and focuses in. It tears open past wounds, never allowing anything to fully heal.
My depression. It clouds my mind, slows my thinking. It steals my words from my mouth, leaving me with lost sentences and silence. It pushes my memories far away, forgotten, maybe forever.
My depression. A disease that not only haunts my soul, but also my body. The scratching at skin until it’s raw. The reopening of scabs until they turn to scar. The blood to remind me of it’s everlasting presence.
My medications. Change an all-consuming burden in to a dull, constant ache.
My Pip. A constant therapy dog, despite his continuous need to bark at rabbits.
My son. A soul not yet burdened or consumed by this disease. A reminder of all that is good in my life.
My self-awareness. A way to slowly try to combat what depression has taken away.
My choice. To stay.
My goal. To always choose life.