Inside the Mind of a Depressed Soul (The Inner Battle)

Annie Mae Edwards
Carpe Diem Daily Inspiration
7 min readNov 1, 2022


by: Annie Mae Edwards

*free-write journal entry

Depression isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy.

I get so frustrated with myself at times for my lack of understanding of what is going on inside my OWN head, and I imagine I am not alone in those frustrations.

However, as I was deep in thought earlier, trying to comprehend this latest tormenting depression spell, I was hit with a new perspective. It was like my “aha” moment.

I am finally beginning to see a very important aspect of understanding myself and my life, which oddly enough, is that understanding this also encompasses an understanding that NOT understanding is okay.

Depression is an Oxymoron

Depression is an oxymoron. It is filled with confusing contradictions, and that is why it doesn’t seem to “make sense.” In so many ways, it technically doesn’t.

What Does Depression Feel Like?

The best way that I can describe depression is that it is an overwhelming feeling of immense despair, yet somehow, simultaneously, an overwhelming feeling of numbness. It doesn’t seem possible that two seemingly contradicting states of mind can occur at once, and with such intensity. I honestly think that is part of what makes the battle with depression such a frustrating and seemingly hopeless endeavor.

Contradictory Feelings

Simply put, it is a pure contradiction of what we have been conditioned to accept as a universal truth: the inability to experience intense feelings of emotion and numbness simultaneously.

Yet…somehow I do…I imagine many others dealing with depression would agree with me, although it isn’t an aspect that is discussed as often, so I guess I cannot be sure. I wish these ideas were explored more publicly, so that myself and others didn’t feel alone in some of our personal thought processes.

Perhaps this is also why I often feel like such a “misfit.” According to this logic, I am a walking contradiction in a way, as I am composed of my inner most thoughts.

The Battle Within

In addition, I also encounter the debilitating battle between “positive Annie” and “negative Annie.” Those two mindsets are quite different, and attempting to understand the complexities of that relationship has thus far been quite difficult, to put it lightly.

“Positive Annie” is a force to be reckoned with. She is tough. She is a fighter, and refuses to give up.

“Negative Annie,” on the other hand…well, she easily crumbles. She is quite the broken soul.

Until I actually wrote that out, I didn’t even realize that I refer to those two mindsets in the third person.

It is as if I am subconsciously attempting to somewhat disconnect with them. I recognize and identify both mindsets as my own, but they are pure contradictions to each other. By referring to them in the third party, perhaps it makes it easier to accept that these two opposing mindsets that exist in my head are in a tumultuous battle, one that wears me down more than I am usually willing to admit.

It seems a little more feasible, at least in my opinion, to face such an overwhelming battle if I can slightly dissociate from it. After all, my emotions can betray me, hence my struggle with depression in the first place.

Good Approach? Bad Approach?

This idea of slight dissociation seems logical in one sense; intense feelings and emotions can cloud one’s sense of judgment. Yet, depression can be very heavily shaped by these feelings and emotions. Does not addressing these feelings leave unhealed wounds that follow and shape us for the rest of our journey?


  • Is dissociating from some of these feelings actually more helpful or harmful?”
  • What IS the best approach?
  • Is there a very fine line that shouldn’t be crossed when addressing these feelings and past circumstances? If so, where is it? I fear that if that is the case, I passed by it years ago.

Am I My Own Worst Enemy?

I have become a master at hiding my deepest and darkest feelings, until I simply cannot anymore, and I crumble. This seems like a cruel and unusual punishment towards the mind, and unfortunately, I am inflicting it on myself, not realizing the repercussions that come from this type of self destruction.

This is primarily why I feel as if no one actually “gets me.” I don’t let them. I don’t even “get” myself oftentimes, and have conditioned myself to feel both ashamed, and as if I can be a burden to others. Therefore, I have taught myself to build quite a strong “wall of protection,” convincing myself its beneficial for both myself and others..

The Contradiction Here…

However, the problem lies in the actual contradiction that can be found here. If anyone else suffering from depression approached me with this mindset, I could easily give them a hundred reasons as to why they SHOULD NOT feel ashamed, SHOULD NOT feel like a burden, and SHOULD NOT retreat behind a wall they construct around themselves. It is interesting that someone like me, who is ALLLL about equality, love, and self care, can sometimes fail to apply the same logic to myself.

Strength versus Weakness

Perhaps one of the biggest, most confusing “contradictions” of depression for me is the redefining of the concepts of strength and weakness, and how we have been taught to understand their meaning.

I have always been known for my “emotional toughness.” I have the unnerving ability to shield all emotion with a stone faced expression. I have always attempted to be that super “tough” person, whose emotional strength was nothing short of inspiring.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a reason that people view me as such a strong individual. I have overcome a significant amount of difficult circumstances , and when I do not let my depression define me, I am one tough and persistent person. However, because I ALWAYS wanted to appear to be “strong,” even though we all struggle at times, I unintentionally intensified my inner battles, as they lay stuck behind the wall I had built. I continued portraying this facade of ultimate strength until I physically couldn’t anymore, and I completely crumbled, immersed in an ever-growing inner defeat.

In my attempt to be so “strong,” I unintentionally cause myself to become weak. Yet, oddly enough, it is in my absolute weakest moments, where I feel as if I am hitting rock bottom, that I finally begin to realize how strong I actually am.

Like I said before, depression isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy. It has been the most overwhelming and draining battle I have faced, and one that has been present throughout my entire life. However, guess what?

I am still here.

I have somehow managed to overcome MULTIPLE instances that I firmly believed I could not.

Not only that, but I still somehow pick myself back up, and strive to leave my mark on the world.

I really should give myself more credit for that, more often than I do, but in those dark moments, the tunnel vision I create often strips that ability to comprehend that strength.


Depression, in so many aspects, seems like a complete contradiction to how we have been conditioned to understand life.

However, isn’t there an aspect of beauty found in ideas that aren’t blindly based on perceived truths?

Isn’t there an aspect of beauty to be found in the exploration of new concepts, and life lessons gained over time?

Doesn’t that therefore imply that there has to be beauty in depression, as masked as it may be? (Key: as long as we allow that beauty to be discovered, as it is not one that is easily uncovered…)

That may not seem logical upon first thought; depression is quite the ugly monster.

Finding the Beauty within the Beast

Where does this beauty lie? In my opinion, it lies in what you do with it. There is beauty and wisdom that is buried deep within these feelings of pain. It may sometimes take me feeling my weakest to see my strength. Afterall, I am a work in progress.

Taking the First Step

My first step must be the destruction of this wall of misery, shame, and loneliness I have built around myself. I must allow things the opportunity to become better.

If I have to experience the pain and ugliness that depression brings, I must also seek its beauty. Life is about balance. This is a perfect example of one way to do so.

I must also share this beauty, so that those I come in contact with hopefully no longer feel as drained, as alone, and as defeated as they previously did. However, I must share it when I am ready.

I must work on healing my wounds if I want to help others with theirs.

But, like I said, I am a work in progress.

And I am finally okay with that.

Progress is a beautiful thing. Understanding will come as the time for it comes. This is yet another part of my journey that I must embark upon, and I am ready to do so (I think?).

I guess understanding why I can’t seem to understand it is at least a good start…