And the salt in my wounds isn’t burning anymore than it used to,
It’s not that I don’t feel the pain, it’s just I’m not afraid of hurting anymore
And the blood in these veins isn’t pumping any less than it ever has,
And that’s the hope I have, the only thing I know that’s keeping me alive
When you’re suffering from depression, nothing makes sense.
And that’s not me being hyperbolic, honest.
When you have depression, everything that seemed easy to understand become monuments that celebrate your inability to ‘get’ things, and everything becomes confusing. And not because you don’t understand how things work, or how certain processes work, but because you just don’t see the point in them.
Say, for example, you’re making breakfast. You put the bread in the toaster and push the bread down. The action completes the circuit and the elements heat up and the bread becomes toast, but with depression, it doesn’t seem worthwhile, and making breakfast seems confusing. You make breakfast because you’re supposed to, but when you’re sitting staring at your toast, what are you supposed to do? Eat? Why? Who says you have to?
And that’s why depression is so horrid. It robs your life of any meaning, even from the simplest thing like washing or changing your clothes. It suddenly makes you regress to a childlike stage of asking “why” to everything, because you need somebody to say “because if you, it’ll be a step towards getting better”.
Okay, so, every day I wake up, I wish I hadn’t. My dreams are filled with images of a happier existence, whilst every moment spent awake is a fight against an army of invisible monsters conjured up from the darkest recesses of my own mind. Once again, not exaggerating at all. Every single day is a struggle to find a rope to cling onto to survive till the next day, on the off chance that it’ll magically get better.
But strangely enough, that struggle, that cruel struggle against myself is a sign that I’m getting better, because I’m making the effort to carry on, even though I don’t understand why. There’s a chest in my mind that is locked shut, and all the keys to unlock it have “it gets better” engraved on them. And one day I’ll find the key that’ll unlock it. Every day there’s one less key to use, one more chance at overcoming the loitering misery and apathy, one more chance to be happy.
Alternatively, it helps to think of it like this:
Fighting depression is like trying to find reception for your mobile phone. You do all sorts of things to try and find reception, go all sorts of places, and when you do, it’s a relief. And that’s what it’s like to fight depression. Sometimes you’re alone and isolated, and sometimes you have the smallest connection to the outside world, and the world seems a bit brighter.
And even though the connection might drop off, you know it’s not impossible to get connection again. And you try to get reception for your phone again. And people see you standing on benches and putting the phone in the air, and smile.
Life is fucking awful at times, life lacks meaning sometimes, life is disgusting and it’s okay to hate yourself and hate it. But remember this.
You being alive, your existence, your dedication to survive is a beacon to others with depression, that says that there are others like who are fighting every day against an illness that undermines everything we do by robbing us of our sense of purpose. And to those with depression, lost at sea on a sinking life raft, every beacon is another sign of hope, that shows them how close to shore they are.
So please, for my sake, and for the sake of millions of others, don’t stop shining.