Waking up to 

Anon  II  NOV 20 2016

Depression was a slow realisation. I had gone through troubles in my life, that’s for sure, but I thought that my feelings of sadness and anger were normal. Basic expected responses to trial and difficulty. These feelings became old friends, and little by little demanded more and more.  They became as if a presence in the room, following behind me, jumping the doors on the train and getting fee entry on the bus. They became familiar, unwanted but also reassuring.

I remember the first day that it became too much.  I woke in the early hours of the morning, as I had been doing for months. The clock read 4.23 as it usually did, and the birds sang a fleeting song outside of the drawn curtains. The cold air buffered my warm blankets, but my mind was already hot, fiery and a thousand thoughts behind. Another dose of heaviness fell into my limbs as I surveyed the day ahead, predicting its course.

I had become used to routine. Morning would be a nonchalant and disengaged blur until placement, where I would first feign and then abandon a smile, anger and resentment building under my chest. I would feel a thrusting sadness behind my breastbone, reaching up behind my eyes and furrowing my brow. Little things would mean everything, and big things nothing. I walked in a constant fight against tears, against outburst and against walking out. Life was pressure. Smiles were the gate holding it in.

Around 10 or 11 am things would relent and something would wash over me, and by afternoon the hell of the morning would seem distant, silly. I would laugh, smile, pretend it was all normal. The dark familiar would sit in the room quietly, angry with my enjoyment.  She would have her turn later, that was known.   Returning home would be a step back into her world. 

Over time I would eat less and less, withdraw more and more. The connection to hunger in my stomach became a lifeline to reality, physical griping to remind me to breathe. The evening dark became oppressive, feeding my head with thoughts of loss and hopelessness. Rumination. Ruination.  Until I drifted off to sleep, Youtube open on videos to fill my head with loud noises and drown out old voices. And so it would be. Day by day, each worsening.

This day was too much. The relief never came. I had been thinking of death many days, methods and how to tie up the loose ends. I thought of my eulogy, what I could have left to the world and for what deeds, if any, I could be remembered. Today these thoughts became solid and suddenly reassuring,  no longer met with fear but relief. The end was a choice I had. I choice to end pain. It was that day I sought help. 2 years later, I am the best I have ever been.

The old feelings still live. They are familiar and always will be. The darkness still holds in the night. Each day is a step forward, but I still feel the tar which grips my feet. But years and effort have given me speed.
Depression is a funny thing. It moves in slowly, like a tentative boyfriend or girlfriend, first a toothbrush, then a few pairs of underwear. Then suddenly you realise you have woken up every day with her/him. Your life seems odd without it once it has become the norm.   But freedom from it is okay, as much as it seems scary, you can live again. Thrive.

I hope that perhaps somewhere in this passage you may have spotted something. If you have, get help. Its taking back control.