As I write this, I am sitting on my bed next to my husband as he sleeps. I am cuddling a stuffed animal dog I have, whom I named Moe. I have been staring at a blank screen off and on for an hour now, completely unsure what to write about.
This form of writer’s block is different than others. Not only do I not want to write. I don’t want to eat. I don’t want to sleep. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to do anything at all really. I am utterly and completely depressed.
I have previously discussed my struggles with depression. I tell you, this moment in my life is one of the worst I have experienced. I have been constantly depressed for about a week now, if not more. I have briefly touched on what it’s like to be depressed, but not in the moment as it occurs.
Some may find this post slightly alarming and maybe even unnecessary. But, I believe it is absolutely crucial, not only for myself but others. I know from experience—sometimes you don’t know you struggle with something until someone who does describes it.
Before I go into detail, my form of experiencing depression may be completely different than someone else’s. I am aware of this. And that’s okay. My experience may not be the only one, but I do know I am not the only person who identifies with this form of depression.
For starters, I simply feel very sad right now. I feel very lonely, even with my husband beside me. In fact, I always feel lonely. Even in an office filled with co-workers, I feel lonely.
I am always on the verge of tears. Nearly everything and everyone can make me cry. However, until the very moment I cry, I am stoic. It is in my depression that for once in my life, my face does not say a thousand words. The only thing it may say is I am sad.
I relentlessly fight against human contact. I am most introverted when I am depressed. In fact, I intentionally, if at all possible, try to avoid people. It is in these lowest moments, I want nothing to do with people.
I am sure some may be wondering, “Don’t you know that hurts people? Why would you do that?”
When I am depressed, I am not my regular self. When I am depressed, I don’t even know who I am anymore. I am so lost and confused, as I question everything I have ever known to be true about myself and this world.
Simply put, it’s easy for me to knowingly shut people out because I am not Renata. I am a mutated, emotional wreck. I simply strive to survive with each waking minute.
I don’t joke with people. I only talk to people if I absolutely have to. I don’t seek out further contact. My only main goal is to work and sleep. And even then, all I really want to do is curl up in a ball and hibernate for days upon days.
I used to be one of those people who once said, “Well, can’t you just snap out of? Isn’t it your choice?” All I can say to that is no, I can’t; and no, it’s not. I never knew this until I experienced it. I even tried to convince myself I wasn’t depressed.
But, it doesn’t work that way.
Depression is a monster.
It only desires to grab on and take root. Depression does not care who you are, who’ve you been, or who you aspire to be. Depression is lethal. Depression lives on its own terms, time, and rules.
I never know how long my depression will last. Sometimes, it comes with no warning or explanation, although I can usually guess when it will come. It usually comes in the middle of a lot of big life moments or decisions. It comes when I don’t want to deal with life, when I don’t want to be an adult.
But alas, I must be an adult. And that means facing and dealing with a lot of rough choices, people, and events. For now, I simply sit still because I can no longer put my thoughts to paper. I am sad, tired, and emotionally numb all at once.
I don’t know where I will be next week at this time. Honestly, I am a little unsure and confused about how tomorrow will go.
Nor do I know how long I will struggle with this. It could be for the next couple of days, or it could be for the rest of my life. It could always take form in this way, or it could change over time as I do. I really don’t know. All I know is, depression is real. It is real in my life and in so many others’.
Lastly, I tell you this: If you know people who have struggled or currently struggle with depression, encourage them to talk to a professional about it. Also, please give them grace. I can tell you right now if you don’t, no one else will. Love on them and be patient, no matter how long it takes. Remind them of their goodness. Remind them who they are.