It starts as a creeping thing slowly moving towards you. In the beginning, it is encapsulated in just one bad thought or a few negative whispers. But just like a changing tide, it will slowly grow to become something that engulfs.
You feel swallowed up. And insignificant. And tiny. And alone. And that’s where the danger lies.
Because when you’re alone, you’re left with your fears and no way to fight them. On some days, you’ll be courageous to share something — a thought, a question, a tweet, or a status — and it is in the responses from others that you’re knocked to your back. And a rock is placed on your chest.
“I hope you get the support you need.”
“Change your thoughts.”
“I’ll pray for you.”
When in those moments you want more than a generic message in the moments of passing by.
A phone call that you might be brave enough to answer. A letter that you might find some joy in returning. Or a hug where nothing is said at all.
Because depression counts on the advice to highlight your shortcomings. The philosophical banter that is void of emotion feeds it as a mother nourishes her child. Solemnly, dutifully, and with purpose.
The thing about depression is that one day, you’ll feel your heart beat in your chest and it aches. Because you negotiated the night before to a god that no longer hears you. Angels will have become stoic in matters that relate to you.
The thing about depression is that you go through your days for the benefits of others because it’s no longer a reason for you to be here. And it is at this point you will wish for the happy ending. The question will come up though — what if there isn’t one?
And tears will well up in your eyes but never spill because it takes even too much to do that. Things that you want to scream to people who love you will become lodged in your throat. New hurts will expose old wounds and more of the emptiness will seep into you.
You’ll ask for courage. Or time. Or love. Or hope. Or respect. Or to be remembered.
Because depression will tell you that you can’t have it all. And in these moments, you’ll see flashes of people saying, “We didn’t know it was that bad for her.” Or him.
And your soul will want to scream. But the layers, the blanketing of the feeling will be so thick that everything is muffled. Even in death, everything is muffled. When truth is in the faces of the ones who said they cared, it will still be silenced.
But before that moment ever arises, you’ll wish for rose-colored glasses and childlike innocence. You’ll negotiate once again for another dawn and morning and afternoon and night. You’ll get a glimpse that hopefully things will be better.
You will be better.
You will determine in your mind that a day will one day come and you’ll no longer feel outside of yourself while still engulfed in despair. You’ll pray and you’ll hope that the god your mother knows hears you. And answers you. And loves you. And releases you.
You’ll try conversations again. You’ll try phone calls again. You’ll try letters again.
You’ll laugh and recognize a melody that belongs to just you. The light that everyone else sees or feels? You will know for yourself that it is real too.
Until then, you’ll quietly wait. Because the thing about depression?
It’s always there.