Living with depression is constantly like fighting a battle with yourself. Every day is hard. Life becomes a battle.
Anything can trigger it.
Things that once made you happy, don’t anymore.
You cry. All the time. You curl up in a ball at night, scream, yell, pray, try to catch your breath, even your tear-soaked pillows and sweats don’t exhaust you. You lay staring at the ceiling, hoping you could just go back to a time when you were OK. Some times you can’t even remember the reason for your tears. You cry at nothing but at the same time, everything. You cry for no reason.
You sleep. You oversleep and you are never fully rested because you wake up numerous times of night and fight with your mind to shut up.
You call in sick to work … a lot.
You stop going to school because really, what’s the point anyways?
You stay in bed all day and your pyjamas become the uniform to your misery.
Your phone rings, text messages stream in, but you stop answering and replying.
You starve yourself or you overeat, there is no in-between.
You feel like you have no one to talk to or that you are burdening the people you do talk to. So, you lie to cover up your true emotions.
You don’t want advice. You just want support.
Most people don’t understand. Some pity you. Some sympathize.
They tell you they are “Sorry” like you just lost your dog.
They say they are shocked because you are not the type to have depression or haven’t shown the obvious signs, like my mental illness is a brand new outfit with the tag still left on.
People tell you it’s a phase or it’s all in your head.
Some even tell you your depression is not an excuse for your behaviour . . . when in fact, it is.
Some people tell you that your illness doesn’t surmount to the death counts in third-world countries. So why are you sad? They question if you really are ill, “Are you sure it is depression?”
Yes, I’m sure. Because it is dark. It is scary. And it feels unescapable.
No, I am not an attention-seeker. In fact, I hate telling people about my illness because of the stigma society has portrayed it to be. Anyone with a mental health issue is a pariah. I am supposed to feel embarrassed and close off. But a mental health disease is just like any other disease. It affects a person just the same as an open wound would . . . it hurts.
You don’t get a manual from the doctor’s office on how to cope. It is random and unpredictable. You are pushed with pills and therapy sessions. Run-arounds to the pharmacy or “hospital meetings”. You seek out self-help books. Time, energy and money are spent all to get better. You can’t run from it.
It isn’t in my head. It isn’t a faze. It’s real.
And for three years of my life, every day has been a battle. One day, I will finally win.