“How are you?” they ask. But they don’t really want to know.
“I’m fine.” I say. But I’m not. I may never be fine again in my life. I’m sinking all the time, coated in this numbness I can’t escape. Bundles of thoughts, swinging and swaying, an endless cycle of thoughts. Will it ever let me sleep? Help me, I’m trying to say but my voice has already given up, then my soul, then my body. You see those scars I hide, they aren’t birthmarks, nor battlescars I can be proud of. These are evidence of the guilt you see when you look at me. Please look at me. Give me a hand and save me. I think I’m insane feeling things that are not real. I’ve spent days crying alone, curled up on the floor. It’s hard to move, I can’t swallow food, I can’t breathe but you can’t see it on my face.
“How are you?” they ask but don’t listen to what I’m trying to say.
“I’m depressed.” “Nah, you’re just sad.” But I don’t feel sadness, not one that you can overcome anyway. My blood is draining, being replaced with taunts, stares and warnings. NEVER GOOD ENOUGH, ASKING FOR ATTENTION, JUST ANOTHER WEIRDO, WHAT A CREEP! There is this wall around me, saving me, no, caging me. Why can’t I scream and just let it pour out? Will it ever end? Or will it rot everything till there’s no more me left anymore. You think I don’t care about life, that I’m a coward throwing it away, that those sleepless nights are excuses for attention. But what you don’t know is if my heart stopped right now, I wouldn’t feel that either. I’m restless, I’m panicking, no this is NOT A SHOW. I’m nodding my head, not hearing a word being said. I am not a lunatic. How can you understand what I’m feeling when I don’t understand it myself?
Depression isn’t just a state of mind, it’s a real disease. As real as a fever, or HIV. Just more painful, more dangerous. Do you know how a drowning person feels? The agony to not breathe is so strong, you cope with the loss of oxygen until you’re about to lose consciousness. At that point, the body involuntarily takes a breath, that is the “Break point.” That lack of oxygen causes darkness closing in on all sides. The body doesn’t how to die so there’s struggle, desperation and a disbelief. You can easily compare depression with the drowning and sometimes, the end is the same too. You can’t help a depressed person with sympathy but with empathy. Do you ever look at a person and try to figure out what he’s been through? What hurt him, moulded him into what he is? I do. With every single person I meet and try to make them laugh (if only at my own stupidity) because mind-reading isn’t possible yet. But being human and nice towards someone, that we can do and you never know when you’re saving lives just by spreading smiles. The thing about depression is that you can’t see it, so you believe it’s not real, at least not real enough to consult a doctor. In that case, I’ll just ask you can you see God, or cancer? No right. But you believe them to be real. This is what depression is like. As real as you and me (well not me, I’m just a face behind a screen.)
Love, Alex 🙂