In the Grip of Depression

Depression is a mean entity. Just when you think you are doing okay, getting over the massive mountains that seem to loom at every turn, it rears its ugly head and steals your joy and threatens all of those coping skills you've tried so hard to develop. It creates isolation, loneliness and the feeling of utmost doom and dread.

I'm not talking about those times that everyone experiences when things seem bleak or life gets you down. I'm talking full-blown, paralyzing depression. The kind that hurts in every inch of your body. The kind that tells you that you will never be good enough, or strong enough to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and move forward. The kind that laughs at you as you wrap yourself up and shrink into a state so low that you begin to believe what it tells you.

Depression is physiological for sure. It embeds itself into your physical body and creates an overall illness that adds to the conflicting symptoms that have already manifested into your physical well-being. Depression is also psychological as well, but not only in the sense of chemical imbalance that adds to the already hurt state of your psyche. Depression hinders your ability to reform thoughts, rethink irrational decisions and see past the here and now into the not so far off future where things will be better. It steals your future while living in the past.

Those of us who suffer with clinical depression lack the ability to change our thought processes when faced with the onset of a depressive episode. We allow depression to steal everything that we have worked so hard building up to ward off these episodes. We intellectually know that this too shall pass, yet are unable to function enough to MAKE it pass, so we continue on a downward spiral until we aren't able to see that important light at the end of the tunnel. I spend a lot of time daily focusing on that light so when it is gone I'm completely lost.

And when well-meaning people try to help you it only makes things worse. Believe me, I wish I could 'think about the good things' or 'pull myself together' or 'remember how far I've come', but when depression's gnarled hand comes out of nowhere and is grasping at my throat and choking the life out of me, I'm in complete survival mode, just trying to get my next breath. I can't even think clearly, not to mention rationally. Time and time again I want to be able to shake off the feelings of self-loathing, dread and inadequacy, but the energy it takes to do these tasks can't be summoned when I'm already spent just trying to breathe. Add on all of the environmental triggers of day-to-day life, all of the seemingly tiny irritations that everyone has to deal with and those horrendous 'what ifs' and I feel completely doomed.

So with my hands proverbially tied I will await for my light to show up once again, hopefully at the next turn that I am dragged through.