A Day in the Life of Depression
The dark cloud is beginning to settle in.
It feels like being draped, covered and swallowed whole by a black-out curtain. Every single part of my being, soul included, is masked in dark. I feel trapped. No one can find me and I can’t find myself.
The weight of the curtain is so heavy that every single movement and thought requires 500x the normal effort. Curling out of the fetal position to roll out of bed at the very last possible minute is usually met with tears. Tears of pure exhaustion. Exhaustion from the lack of sleep the previous night, the racing thoughts, the tossing and turning. More tears come when I notice myself in the mirror out of the corner of my eye.
‘Why are you still so ugly?’
‘Why are you so pathetic?’
I fix my hair, the bangs only, because they fall perfectly into my eyes and will be the ideal mask for the tears I will inevitably be crying all day. Make-up is obviously a waste of time so I skip that all together. Clothes — pointless, but when you work in an office you have to wear some. Workout clothes it is because, well, on a normal day I would be spending my lunch break at the gym. IDK if I’ll go but better to be prepared.
‘Food. Ugh. Do I have to?’
My mouth tastes like metal. Water is life but it sounds like the most unappetizing thing I could even consider ingesting at the moment. I make a protein shake, because, zero effort needed. I sigh. The most painful, agonizing sigh because it will be at least 8 hours until I will be back in this exact position and able to curl back up in bed.
I drive to work. Every song makes me cry. They make me cry, Bieber included, because I’m lost in abstract life-thoughts-land. Where everything feels so heavy and why do bad things happen to good people and why am I still here. And then I feel guilty for being so sad about being alive knowing that people are dead so I cry some more. Then I cry thinking about how difficult getting through this day is going to be.
I pull into the parking lot.
‘Here we go.’
I do my best to avoid eye contact walking in. Lucky me, I have the desk front and center. Why did I ever think that was a good idea knowing the dark cloud comes around from time to time?
Headphones in. Music turned up. Tissues handy. More tears.
Work — or try to. Never do I ever resent working in Social Media more than when the dark cloud is around. I actually get paid to troll Facebook and subject myself to emotional wrist-slitting with every engagement/newborn/marriage photo. Everyone is so happy. Everyone is so damn happy.
‘Why are you so pathetic?’
It’s lunchtime. No food. Am I going to the gym? I guess so.
‘Fake a smile, fake a smile, fake a smile.’
‘Why are there so many damn people here today.’
I make it to the locker room. The news story on TV is about a woman who killed someone because of her severe depression. “What we need to do is make mental health issues a more important topic, we need to be discussing it with our kids at the dinner table” says the host. I would laugh at the irony of this story playing at this exact moment but I only have so many ounces of strength for the day and a smile isn’t worth it.
I’m at the gym for a record 10 minutes. I knock out some strict presses in between sniffles and realize this was a horrible idea. I imagine all of the terrible things people are thinking about me as they watch me walk back out the door.
‘Why are you so lazy?’
Back at work. Only a few more hours to get through. I take a half a klonopin even though I know it causes more bad than good for me. I just have to take something. I’ve almost met my tears quota for the day and I still have too much pain. I still have too many things to cry about.
One by one, everyone leaves. I’m the last one there. I unplug my headphones and turn the volume up, way up. Finally, I can really cry. No more sniffles and tears silently falling. I can cry, loudly, to the music as it echoes through the empty offices.
‘Why does everything hurt so much?’
I make it home. I collapse. It’s still light out but I can’t fathom doing anything but laying in bed. It’s too bright, my mind is too loud. Is it too early to take my medication for sleep? I’m really trying to quit that stuff, I’ve been off it for a week. But damn, I want to get lost in dreamland. I can’t stop crying. My dog curls up next to me and it only makes me cry harder.
‘Why do you even love me? Don’t you see how pathetic I am?’
I’m still listening to music. The sad stuff though, so my crying feels validated. I wonder what life would be like without me. Would people be sad? What about the people I don’t talk to anymore, what would they think? What about the people I talk to every day, would they be completely shocked?
Because oh, I forgot to mention. The dark cloud is invisible. No one knows it’s there but me.
Originally published at www.andipetty.com on March 16, 2016.