It could be worse. That’s what they say. Like it’s supposed to make you feel good that other people are dying, hurting, and starving in the world. No. It may be true, other people may have it worse than you. But does that make your suffering less of a problem? Does that lighten the load off your shoulders? Does that make you shrug off the dark cloud that encapsulates you and immediately feel happy-go-lucky?
Depression is described many ways, mostly with the adjectives ‘dark’ or ‘black’ somewhere in the description. But when you are depressed, it seems that nothing can describe the way you feel. Nobody can understand the enormous effort it takes to perform ordinary daily tasks, to eat and to even speak.
I know. Because I’ve been there.
Most people would actually describe me as happy-go-lucky, bubbly and positive, and I am. Most of the time. But I’ve also spent weeks in my house, in my room, hiding from the world and unable to raise my head above the tide of darkness that ebbs and flows around my mind.
My voice is low and is barely heard when I try to speak. It takes so much energy to move that I’m exhausted by the time I muster the courage to get up from my bed. I can’t go to work. I can’t go to the gym. I can’t see my friends because I am so tired, so low, so emotionally wrecked.
There’s a constant throbbing in my head that repeats the words ‘You’re not good enough’. It passes through my mind that there’s no purpose for me here. That nobody needs me.
This is depression. This is real. It’s not when you break your nail or when your favourite band are breaking up. That momentary fleeting pain is not depression. Depression is not so much a feeling as a temporary state of being. It’s not to be romanticized in black and white pictures. It’s real. And for any of you have ever been in that state and have made it through – well done. It’s not easy to drag yourself out of it. And for any of you that have been there and are getting help – congratulations, you’ve taken the first step. For any of you that think you may be experiencing this… Acknowledge it, don’t try to push it down. It’s strong, but you are stronger. You will find a way. Take comfort in the fact that there are people willing to help you out there. We are out there. So talk.