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Filed Under: Personal
The Reality of Depression

The Reality of Depression

By Michelle Lunger

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post in relation to how I feel. It does not mean everyone with depression or mental illness feels this way. I am just trying to share my experience and others I’ve known. I wrote this as a way of expressing myself and my illness, the reality of my depression. It’s about the details that aren’t always talked about or publicized. Again, just because some of us have felt this way does not mean everyone feels this way. Each of us experiences things differently so don’t feel left out if you don’t 100% connect to this post! Everyone’s mental health is unique to each person. If you ever feel differently, tell us your perspective in the comments! We would love to hear your feedback and how you feel.

I’m tired of putting a positive spin on everything. This is the reality of my constant battle…

There’s a reason why it’s called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It’s not just sad though, it’s depression which can be a result of sadness but sadness is not depression. Depression is feeling like nothing. Feeling like the whole world is black and white and that you are in this world, this life that doesn’t feel like yours. It feels like you aren’t even attached. Mentally, emotionally, physically. I feel like I’m at one of those arcade games where you ride the motorcycles and your only view is your hands on the handles and the background. But it’s not actually you riding. It is overwhelming and toxic-minded. Depression tells you to not believe in yourself- it tells you that you are worthless until you start believing in it. You fall so deep in it that you don’t even have an ounce of energy to even try to crawl out. 

It doesn’t last forever though. Once you have gained that energy and your depression has used it’s last words- defeated, but slightly uprooted you rise out of the hole that depression has dug. What brings you out is that slight feeling of hope or convincing that things can get better. That you’ve had enough of being bullied by your depression. When you get outside it’s brilliantly bright. Not like butterflies and rainbow colors bright, moreso blinding. Your emotions are heightened and so is your sight and hearing. The anxiety kicks in and it feels like you are walking on the edge of a cliff with a parachute ready to go back to that hole. It’s not that the hole is safe, it’s stagnant. There is nothing there and you are nothing there, but at least nothing else can come after you...besides yourself. Walking out of the hole is heavy, feeling like you are walking on a million eggshells fearing they may crack. You have a battle inside your head of whether or not to just go back, but knowing you need to go forward. The black and white cloud or photo lense shifts into a high exposure and contrast. Everything is louder. It feels as if one car passing you is as if you are stuck in NYC traffic. And that one person feels like you are stuck in a crowded grocery store right before a holiday or a storm. No wonder you want to go back in that hole. You don’t have to deal with that... or anything. That’s limbo. That’s where you have to wait to get “used” to the world again. To adjust again. But it’s scary. What if you do adjust? What if you do get better? But what if you do get worse and get back into that hole? Do I want to be in that hole? I don’t want to be in that hole. But maybe it would be easier for everyone if I just crawled back in.

That’s the battle. The fight after the crawl. You’ve felt like nothing and now you feel everything that you are running from. Now you have to get used to it. You have to make it go back to how you once felt. And I’m not going to call it happy. Happiness isn’t a destination. It’s a feeling that we have felt and we are longing to feel again. We keep on searching for things that make us happy and we get lost in the mess of things just as we get lost in our depression. We can’t force that feeling upon us. We need to make it happen. We need to do little things to make that happen. Until one day it won’t be as hard to do. That fight doesn’t end though. Everyday is a fight. And you can’t guarantee that this cycle won’t begin again. Each time it happens I feel like it scratches my soul but it also helps me rise. That’s the beauty of the disease. You give a lot and get a little. But you have to take that little and stretch it. It doesn’t seem like a lot but each little thing has power to conquer the next. You just need to find that little something every time the cycle begins again. You can try to prevent the cycle but it’s within you to know what you have to do to begin again. Wait it out, restart, and rise again.