Depression Is

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Depression is like a familiar pillow. One that’s musty and probably noxious to be around, and yet it has always been there. When things get hard, it’s too easy to fall back into its familiar embrace, deeper and deeper until you fail to notice that the pillow is smothering you, that the air you are breathing is no longer sweet and clear. That your oxygen levels are getting lower and lower and that your brain is slowly dying. And when you finally notice it, you can’t pull away. You’re in too deep. It’s too hard. It’s easier to remain. And stay. Until you drown.

Depression is like a fog. You don’t notice when it forms, and when you do, it’s too late. You can’t see too far around you. You can only see the fog, and you can only see what the fog wants you to see. That friend that’s trying to help? The fog translates every word into knives pointed at you. That sliver of daylight cutting through the fog, telling you to come to it? The fog shows you a world that you don’t belong in, a world that would reject a broken piece like you. So you stay. In the fog. Where it’s safe. Allowing it to smother you instead.

Depression is like living in a dark room for months until it is all you know. The world outside is bright and full of life, but you don’t know that. Your world is just those four walls around you, dimly illuminated by a dirty, faulty light.

Depression is a hole. One made out of quicksand. You try terribly to avoid these holes when you are on the surface, but there are so many holes, and they only open up just for you. No one else falls in. No one else is dumb enough. This is what the hole tells you when you get caught.

Depression slows down time, but only in your head. When afflicted, it’s so easy to stay in bed. Stay at home. Fail to bathe. And when you can finally smell yourself, you realise that a few days have passed, and things have moved on without you. And you have stayed the same. Curled up in a ball of aching emotion, waiting for it to pass, or just giving in to the inevitability that this is your new normal, and you should just get used to it.

Photo by Hailey Kean on Unsplash

Depression is a disease of the brain, one that distorts your worldview, making you see everything in the worst light possible. It’s also a constant shadow to those afflicted, but its effects are never consistent. There are good days. Great days even. Days when your mind’s vision is so clear, and you know you are okay. That you are going to be okay. That this too shall pass.

Then there are bad days, the days where all or some of the above descriptions of depression apply. Days when your mind is your own worst enemy, telling you that you suck, that you’ve failed, that you’re a loser and all that wonderful deprecating stuff. Days when your mind dredges up your worst memories, and makes you replay them in 4K HD video, and reminds you that you shouldn’t make it. That you can’t make it.

Depression is just a deep, aching sadness that will not go away, no matter your reasons. No matter your circumstance. No matter that you have a million other reasons to be happy.

Depression is many things, but it is also not many things.

Depression is not a person being crazy.

Depression is not an excuse for bad behaviour.

Depression is not always visible.

Depression is not a crutch.

Depression is not a weakness.

Depression is not a character deficiency.

Depression is not fake.

Depression is not to be taken lightly.

It is not a choice.