Have you ever been depressed? If you have, my heart hurts for you. If you haven’t, you will never truly know how it feels. But let me try to explain.
Depression is a bully. It is a soul crushing bastard that lives inside your head. It knows your hopes, dreams, fears and doubts. And it knows how to use them all against you. It twists the hopes and dreams, telling you you’ll never achieve them. It tells you that you aren’t good enough to have them. It takes your fears and doubt and amplifies them. It tells you that you are right about all the things you think are wrong with you.
Depression is the bully inside your head constantly telling you that you aren’t good enough, and you never will be. It tells you how much better the world would be without you. It tries as hard as it can to make you believe these things. And you do believe them. Your children will be happier without you to disappoint them. Your family will be better off if they aren’t burdened by you anymore. Your friends will stop wasting time listening to your whining.
Can you imagine for a moment a person standing in front of you, telling you these things everyday? Try to imagine it. Try to think of how it feels to be told nothing will ever get any better and it will probably just get worse. Think of how you would feel if you were told every day that dying is the better option. Imagine smiling at everyone you know, doing your best to hide the pain because they don’t understand and you don’t see a point in trying to explain it to them. But it’s not a person, it’s your own personal bully inside you head. And you can’t get away.
If you can imagine all these things, now add a pressure in your chest. A feeling like you are being crushed. The weight of all your fears and doubts pushing you deeper into the earth. I told you before it was a soul crushing bastard, and this is where you physically feel the crushing. You chest hurts and everything in your body feels heavy. People don’t understand why all you want to do is lay down or sleep. But if you have ever tried to carry around a large amount of weight, you know that at some point laying down is the only thing you want to do. You want to feel the relief. Except with depression, you can’t put down that heavy box or make the bully go away. There is no relief.
If, by reading this, your heart aches and you want to cry then you have a small idea of what depression feels like. It is debilitating. People who don’t understand will tell you things like “it’s just in your head”, “why can’t you just snap out of it”, “you’re life is good so you shouldn’t be so sad”. That’s like telling a kid to just make the bully stop being mean to you. You can’t stop something you have no control over. If it were that simple, if you could just make it all stop, don’t you think people would?
This is my daily battle. I fight this bully every day and most days, the bully is the one that wins. But I keep trying. I’m not giving up. Because I know that the bully is wrong. The things it whispers in my ears are lies. Knowing this and stopping it are completely different though. That’s a whole other battle I live with every day – being smart enough to know what the problem is and still not being able to fix it.
I don’t know if this will help anyone. Hell, I don’t even know if this is helping me. But I needed to explain to people what this is. Maybe this will help someone dealing with this bully to put it into words for someone else. Maybe it will let someone know they aren’t alone. Or maybe no one will even read it, and it just gave me something to write about again. But it is out there now, for everyone to see. Maybe this will push that bully down and take that weight off my chest. Maybe.