Here’s my feelings about what it’s like to be depressed. All day, every day, you’re stuck hanging out over this yawning chasm. It’s a huge hole of fear and despair. It takes all your energy and time and focus to just hang on. 110% of you is devoted to merely trying to keep the hole from swallowing you.
When you ask for help from whatever out there is bigger than you and decides these things, you get nothing. The hole stays the same. The sucking, draining, sapping pull of it stays the same. The trapped, tar pit feeling stays the same. Which automatically rules out any help from heaven above, because ain’t nobody up there is listening, clearly.
When you ask for help from other people, what you get is a list of things you need to do. This is frustrating, since all of your time and energy and existence is doing nothing but fighting with the mindless void of the chasm. You’ve already got a better than full time job with that, but other people will tell you a lot of things you need to add on top of that.
It’s funny, because you think you’re asking for help. They think they’re a cruise director handing out itineraries. They do this because they want to say they “did everything [they] could.”
“I told him/her to go to church, to talk to a therapist, to take these magic pills, to exercise more, to eat healthier, to sleep more, and to take some ‘me’ time to relax. It’s his/her fault they didn’t do it.” And then they fuck off with the rest of their day.
That rules out people as being any help, since their suggestions are valid, if only it wasn’t for the great, empty, sucking nothing that has you paralyzed. Which you thought was the thing you needed help with. But, it seems they heard, “Please, tell me many things I already know so I can be miserable with this immense, soul-exhausting void that is using up all my life force and feel guilty that I can’t accomplish any of the many, many, many things you’re also telling me to do on top of it.”
In addition, you will need to be holding a job, being a good companion to your “friends” who are busy regaling you with duties you should be accomplishing, nice to your partner, and be looking “on the sunny side” of the lightless hell pit. Keep a clean house, and survive the endless stream of hollow jabber that everyone wants to throw your way.
You’ll then be blamed by everyone for being boring, or self-pitying, or crying out in agony, because they bloody told you how to deal with it. You should have done all that by now, as your fingers bleed and ache from hanging on for dear life, so as not to be swallowed up.
End this misery, and you’ll be called a selfish coward for suicide. Stay with it, and others will claim they – or the imaginary god that ignores you – are to thank for their goodness, kindness, and fictional support.
You’ll also be told to be grateful, though no one is clear on why you should be grateful for the blight gnawing away your insides. They just know you damn well should be. After all, look at all they haven’t done for you.
You’ll hear that everyone feels this way. Which is odd, because they function without wanting to take their own life. They can laugh, and want to go out and do things. They can get out of bed. Seems strange, because if they actually felt like this, those things wouldn’t be anywhere close to possible. But they want their despair to be just as deep as yours.
They want to believe they somehow overcame, somehow conquered the murderous nothing. When the truth is, all they have done is get lucky that they don’t have it.
In depression, you want cancer. Or a lost limb. Or maybe hideous burn scars. Because people can see those. People then recognize that they don’t have those things to overcome. With depression, they can’t see it, so it isn’t real. It’s just your fault.
Doctors will ask you how often you want to kill yourself, as if that isn’t a constant companion. Suicide is the sole relief in a depressed mind, because all you want is for this hateful void to stop eating you alive. That’s it. You want to be able to enjoy a sunset, or a night out, or a single book.
You can’t. And you’ll also be blamed for that.
At points the pain becomes so overwhelming, that you want to lash out at others, so they can feel an ounce, a moment, a brief glimpse into the daily hell you experience. Frankly, there’s times when shooting up a school sounds good. Because that’s a lick at the intense agony you live with.
But even those people can mourn and heal. Can move on. After the shooting stops and the bodies are in the ground, you’ll still be there with your unending chasm, and everyone will move on.