When the Darkness is Too Strong…
I want to preface this post with this: If you relate to any of what I am saying, please consult a doctor.
Depression has many faces. They are all horrific. One face is the face of suicidal thoughts or actions, another is the face of unworthiness, another is the face of complete and utter misery. The hard part about depression is that regardless of how you are feeling, whether it is a lack of motivation or the lack of desire to live, you are in absolute darkness. There is no light. Not even a sliver.
During my worst times I remember trying to relay how I felt to my loved ones and all I could say was I felt like I was seriously possessed by darkness. This may sound crazy and I agree. It does sound crazy and it felt even worse, but let me break it down to you. My experiences with depression have all been slightly different. There were commonalities between all of them such as the lack of motivation, lack of joy, pure sadness, and feelings of unworthiness. I was going through depression because I didn’t deserve to be happy. I was going through depression because I lacked the skillset to succeed. These were all thoughts I had and I truly believed them because the little voice that we have inside all of our heads was telling me so and I mean, hello, why wouldn’t I believe ME?
One episode consisted of how I couldn’t get out of bed for 3 months other than to shower and take care of necessary things, but I always ended up back in bed and sleeping for 14+ hours a day. I would have extreme panic attacks at night hyperventilating and then I would sleep all day.
Another episode consisted of me feeling too many emotions. I felt too much anger, too much anxiety, too much stress. The feelings were suffocating and I legitimately mean that. I needed a way to let all my aggression out and I didn’t know how until I found self harm. Self harm is a super taboo topic but it is one that needs to be talked about more. With that being said, I do not have scars and I did not break the skin to the point of blood, and I truly empathize with anyone who has a constant reminder of how hard times have been. Moving on, I found self harm as the only way I could let out my emotions and take it out on myself. My mind was working against me, so I needed to take it out on myself. At first, it was a cry for help. Then it just turned into an outlet and one I regret and am ashamed about often.
Another episode consisted of me having suicidal thoughts. There is a misconception about being suicidal. You can be suicidal without actually acting out on the urge to end your life. I want to say that and make sure it is known because suicidal thoughts are real. The desire to no longer live is real and regardless of how far it goes, you deserve the help you need. Because I was told that having suicidal thoughts was different than actually wanting to take action on those thoughts, I disregarded help and I could’ve really used some help.
Finding the light after feeling like living was pointless was a struggle and probably the hardest thing I have had to work myself through. It is possible but it takes a lot of work and when you are depressed, the last thing you want to do is work and take care of yourself. Having a support system was my light. Having amazing parents, brothers, grandparents, family friends, and my husband got me through every time. They reminded me of who I was, they reminded me of what I could be, and they helped me see depression for what it was. It was a thing I had to deal with but it wasn’t who I was. And it so deeply felt like it was an extension of myself. Once I was able to separate myself from the disease, I was able to start packing it away in its box. Depression has a lot of layers like I said in the beginning, and it takes a long time to work through each facade. After I was able to get on medication and work with a therapist, I was able to really see why I felt the way I did and work through it. It has been a long journey, but I have been getting better and better… SLOWLY. The light was starting to show again and it was actually attainable, until relapse happens.
I have dealt with relapse but having knowledge on where my insecurities stem from has made a huge difference in how I am able to tackle it when it comes back to haunt me. What has helped me is reading. I read an insane amount because it is the only thing that shuts my brain off from berating myself and transports me to another world where depression and anxiety don’t exist. Another has been exercise. It is proven to be just as affective as medicine and I can vouch for that. Next is communicating with my support system. It takes a village. When they are in tune with how I am feeling, they can help me set out a plan for getting through it as quick as possible.
Last but not least is being able to love yourself again. Love your faults, love your struggles, love your darkness but also the light that follows. This too shall pass. The light shall pass, but so shall the dark. This joyful moment in your life will pass, but the struggles that follow will pass as well. Everything has its cycle, so how can you get through it efficiently and healthy? Find what works for you and know your strength.