So I have found myself over the last few weeks, falling once again into what I can only describe as an overwhelming state of depression and some of the most awful anxiety attacks I've ever experienced. Somehow it has crept up on me, unsure of just how long its been lurking in the shadows, maybe a fortnight , a month or longer, but its hit and once again I've fallen into this black hole of self loathing and bitterness and maybe now this is to be my greatest challenge of 2018.
I have run away and traveled as much as possible, I have tried to hide away from the world, gain strength to go out to work. Every time it comes around it’s just harder and harder to get through.
I continue as normal to work, be a husband and dad, but I am depressed. I don’t know why, I just don’t get it. Nobody sees the real face of depression because so many of us who look quite "normal" are actually fighting battles that no one can see or understand. Like the weather these patterns develop far of in the distance but gently blow in, bringing a fog that slowly envelops you, until all of a sudden it becomes so thick you are unable to find your way. Being left to panic as you suddenly realise you are lost in a once familiar world.
A slave to my own mind and the agitator of my thoughts. The more I think, the worse it gets but also the less I think, the worse it gets, how can I win. I try to breathe, I hope it will pass and ease soon. But no matter how much I resist, I realise it's always going to be right here, desperate to take hold of me, cover me, and maybe break me. Each day I fight, I and others tell me to " get a grip and get over it", but there it is when I wake up, waiting , eager to begin the new day. This thing takes my breath away and leaves me speechless, unable when asked “ What is wrong now”, to put into spoken words what I feel inside.
My chest, it moves up and down, I can feel it. My heart beats, I am alive, but why does it feel like I’m suffocating? I can feel my breath, I know there is air, but still I can’t breathe.
I am an embarrassment to myself, my wife, those who know me and most of all my children.
Picture if you will, a glass of water. It’s almost an instinctual act to pick one up, it isn’t heavy. But what if you couldn’t empty it or put it down? What if you had to support this minimal weight for days… months… or even years? The weight doesn’t change, but the burden it brings does. There comes a time when you can’t remember how light it used to feel. Sometimes it takes everything you have to pretend it isn’t there. And sometimes, it becomes too much and you just have to let it go. Does this make any sense to you?
I have never been scared of sleeping, just waking up. I have woken to the most raw panic in complete darkness, but the darkness wasn’t scary. It was the light in my mind that would cast a terrifying shadow over my self belief.
This constant feeling of numbness, or just the inability to feel anything at all that I have now become so used to, that now I genuinely believe this to be an actual feeling. My focus fades, a small decision to make or an easy question to answer, my mind won’t let me. This is total confusion, the circuits in my brain, a mangle of miss connections and thoughts all crossing at once.
An illness created by me, for me. Created to aid my seclusion from the world. Created in a venomous act of defense to what I can not truly remember. Made of fear and lies. A fear of thankless promises and losing trust I so seldom now give.
I carry cuts so deep I doubt they’re ever going to heal. The pain is real, no it’s not physical, but I would trade that in a heartbeat. But still a feeling that has become almost unbearable. This is what I have become… a cut, a wound, sharp words cast in self-defense, empty eyes, a bag of nerves. Why should I let it continue? Unless… this is all that I have ever known.
Too scared to live and I’m too scared to die. Is this really what my life is about? This is the way I shall exist?
Depression is when you can’t feel at all. Anxiety is when you feel too much. Anxiety is the fuel to my depression, it is the spark, the ignition, the voice. Having both is a constant war within my own mind. And having both means I will never win.
In the pit of my stomach, this great black hole . Liken to swimming in the ocean, you've gone too far and the water is deeper than you think, You want to put your feet down but you can’t, unable to touch the bottom and your heart skips a beat....over and over and over again. How long can I tread water in these turbulent seas!