By Kirsten Corley
If I had to describe to people what living with depression is like I would say is its kind of like watching a movie reel of someone’s else’s life. And you’re waiting for something good to happen. You’re always waiting. Always watching. Always wanting something you don’t have. It’s that happiness that seems to come so easy to other people.
It’s struggling to go to sleep at night because your mind takes you to all these dark places and never shuts off. It’s like no matter how tired your body is physically, mentally, you don’t stop. It’s finally getting to sleep at 3 am and it physically hurting opening your eyes at 6 am.
It’s waking up and you lay there for a moment because for a few seconds you’re kind of mad you had to wake up. It’s like you’d rather be in a dream state then have to face the realities of what awaits you for the day.
You muster the strength to get up and put yourself together, the best you can. And no matter how good you look that day, in your heart you know you’re kind of lying to the world about how you feel. Because if you dressed the way you actually felt people would know.
Depression is about the art of deception.
It’s smiling when you feel like crying. It’s cracking a joke and brining joy to others, even though you can’t bring it to yourself. It’s being positive and upbeat on the outside because you know what it’s like to be in darkness. It’s being kinder to everyone than normal because you know they too could be putting up a front. It’s knowing defeat and watching the world knock you time and time again but never staying down. It kind of feels like there is the dark cloud over you and everyone is out to get you. It’s knowing struggles you don’t speak of but silently fight every day. It’s knowing loss. The loss of yourself as you’re trying to figure out who you are while struggling to accept the parts of yourself you don’t like and can’t seem to change. It’s wanting just to be normal but you don’t even know what that is.
It’s appreciating the little things… A kind word from someone or a smile. It’s clinging to the good days because those are few and far between. It’s looking forward to something on your calendar even if it’s something that’s not that big of a deal. Seeing it written there gives you something to work towards and get to. Because if you fight through three really bad days maybe that fourth day won’t be as bad.
It’s understanding people and being overly observant. It’s looking at someone smile and knowing they are having a rough day. It’s being the light for them that some people have been for you. It’s having compassion and sensitivity at a level that seems not normal to most.
Depression is getting handed really shitty cards and learning to play the best f*cking game you can.
But it’s also that feeling like you are always losing. Like everyone is happier and winning and one step ahead and all you’re trying to do is keep up.
Depression is standing in a crowded room and you just want to be as happy as everyone appears to be.
Temporary highs with drugs, alcohol and medication are only that. It makes the pain subside but it never makes it go away for good.
Depression is going through a newsfeed and comparing yourself to everyone’s highlights and your good moments just aren’t enough.
Depression makes you feel inadequate. It makes you feel weak. It makes you feel like part of you is missing and you’re trying so hard to find anything to fill that void. You try anything to not feel so empty.
Depression does not discriminate. It does not tell you when it’ll sneak up. It can stay hidden within shadows but in your heart you know it’s there, lurking waiting to ruin your next best moment. Waiting to ruin another night of sleep. Waiting for you to break down in tears at 2 AM because you’re never felt so lonely. And you look at reflection with bloodshot eyes you don’t even recognize.
Depression tries to turn you into someone you aren’t while convincing you this is your fault. And while depression tries to take you deeper you fight it. You try and go back to sleep and wait for the morning. Wait for that alarm that tells you, ‘we have another day to fight’ but it’s a battle even on your worst days you won’t give up.
Depression hurts. It’s a pain that most can’t see. It’s a struggle many who suffer can’t quite understand why they are.
So how do we beat it?
Through love and people and through connections. Depression is wanting to be alone but you know it’s in that moment we need people most. It’s looking for those certain people we come across that spark a little life into our dull and sad eyes. It’s finding those that understand without words the battles we face daily. And without saying it, it’s a hug, a nod, a smile that says ‘me too.’
Depression can be beaten. It’s just one of those battles you have to fight every day.