You are in a dark place that feels overwhelming. You hope that tomorrow might be different, but nothing seems to change. Every day that passes by has the same monotony as the day before.
Every so often, you see glimmers of light through a sunny day, a laughing child, a great concert, an adoring pet, the smell of flowers, and all other little life pleasures. And these moments make you believe that you are on your way out of the darkness and are about to grasp the light that has eluded you for so long. But that hope is fleeting. Without warning, you’re knocked back even further into the hole and these pleasurable moments seem to occur even further apart.
Most moments of most days are spent feeling…absolutely nothing. Although most people feel down at times, they also experience a whole range of emotions. And even when they’re down, they can find ways of picking themselves up again.
As for you, you feel like you lack the energy required just to exist, let alone accomplish dozens of tasks that seem to be required every day. All your energy is consumed by your pain. Sleep is often your escape from your thoughts yet you do not wake up feeling refreshed.
People around you seem to avoid you and they don’t seem to understand you. They tell you that you should just snap out of it, or that you are somehow being melodramatic and selfish. These words hurt. They make you feel terribly alone and guilty. You feel like people see you as a burden. They dismiss your concerns and tell you that other people have it worse. They imply that you are weak and that you are just whining about nothing. They shower you with well-meaning but insensitive platitudes. Yet your experience is not ‘nothing’.
These ‘other people’ might have it bad, but so do you. After all, it’s not a ‘who has it worse’ competition. These people simply don’t know what it’s like to live with depression. They don’t know about the countless nights you’ve cried yourself to sleep. If it were easy to snap out of it, wouldn’t you have already done it?
What you may not realize, dear woman, is that with each passing day, you are getting stronger and you actually are climbing further out of that hole. One day, you will be amazed to find that you have stepped out of it. It will feel both strange and elating. You will hesitantly walk across the green pasture of emotional health once again.
Though a part of you will always fear being knocked back into the hole, you will slowly gain more confidence as you realize that this happiness is here to stay even if a small shadow of the hole might still be in your periphery beckoning you to crawl back in. And best of all, you will soon be delighted to find the shadow growing smaller and discover that what was once an all-consuming gulf of darkness is now a mere speck.