Sitting in the back garden at night, tears running down my cheeks, I was the poster girl for pathetic. For the life of me I couldn’t tell you what started it. All I knew was I felt utterly alone in my feelings. Trying to explain them to others would make no sense; they made no sense to me. My reaction to whatever it was that had kicked off the emotional downward spiral far outweighed the situation. I found myself in that moment struggling not to fade away. To let go and detach completely. I fought myself to stay in the present, to think through the tears. This is what my depression can do to me.
Someone once described depression as trying to think or swim through treacle. It’s the effort to have momentum and keep going, wading through the crap life has thrown at you, all whilst being dragged down. This image really resonated with me. My feelings have the power to create an emotional quicksand that threatens to drag me down with it. It’s a real fight to keep going, to refuse to give up when it seems like your entire world is telling you to. As most of us will know, no matter our experiences, it’s incredibly tempting to take the path of least resistance. I’ve learnt to live with this.
I’m grateful for the fact that at times my depression can be a distant memory. It may rear it’s ugly head on occasion but it’s no longer as prolonged or painful as it used to be. I can fight to be free of it’s clutches, I can breach the surface of emotion. What scares me now is this. Sometimes I want to let go. My depression can be particularly insidious. It’s absence lulls me into a sense of calm, I feel like I’ve finally escaped. When disaster hits again, when something triggers my depression, it can spiral out of control quickly. Sometimes I can contain it. Sometimes I can’t. Either way it’s always hard. When I can’t contain it, when I find myself feeling alone again, letting go seems the best option. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am that to find myself back in a bad places makes it all seem for nothing. My hope and my fight disappear, at these times fading away seems to be my only option.