The thing about depression is…

Depression is real.

I’m no expert on the subject so I will steer clear from the jargon (mostly because I am not familiar with them) and speak of my own personal experiences. How is it that someone so closed like me has chosen to write about it and put myself in such a vulnerable position? For a couple of reasons: a) I realised a long time ago that I am at my expressive best when I am writing instead of talking; b) we do not talk about depression enough; we do not have conversations about it enough; and c) while this is, I am hoping, a step towards healing myself, I also hope that anyone out there going through the same thing as I am should know that you are not alone and that you should know that.

And with that, let us begin.

First of all, let me skip the part about what is causing my depression because regardless of the reason, it is the experience of depression that I want to explore. We all may have our reasons- loss of a friend or relative, the end of a relationship, getting stuck in a professional rut -it doesn’t matter. What matters is how heavy the heart feels.

Depression, for me, really does not have a timeline or a time frame. The bouts of depression do not announce its arrival or end after a certain amount of time has lapsed. Those bouts come and go as they please. And only if you have experienced it, can you understand how the heart seems to sink during that time.

The best parallel I can draw is that it is similar (but not same) to the kind of mellow anxiety one feels before embarking on a journey. Using the words ‘mellow’ and ‘anxiety’ together may seem oxymoronic but that’s how (at least) I feel. A slow sadness overcomes your heart before it takes over your mind, and eventually over the rest of your body.

You are unable to think straight; your mind wanders off into the abyss; you can read a book a thousand times over and yet not grasp the plot.

Depression is real.

Your shoulders drop; you cannot hold a conversation well; you cannot look into someone’s eyes when you can hold a conversation.

Depression is real.

The heart? It slows down. It sinks before it slowly and painfully shrinks. You can feel it shrinking within the confines of your chest, showing no signs of expanding.

Depression is real.

How does one deal with it? I don’t know. I really don’t.

I drink.

I abuse my body by drinking an unhealthy amount of alcohol, slowly poisoning myself. Is it the best way to deal with the problem? Of course not, but it is the only solution I know of at the moment.

In a way, drinking to suppress my depression is the same approach I use to deal with any emotion other than love (love, I embrace)- to block it out, to run away from it.

I’m non-confrontational by nature and facing my issues, is the last thing I wish to do. I know that I cannot run away from them forever, but facing them doesn’t seem to solve them either. Not for me, at least.
Do not get me wrong; I am not in any manner of speaking endorsing that one should abuse their bodies the way I am doing. But I do hope that those of you out there experiencing depression can find your escape.

For those of you who are at a better place and have never experienced the darkness of it, know this: Depression is real.

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3 thoughts on “The thing about depression is…

  1. As I write this, in a way the reason for me to write this is because it’s 3 am in the morning and since an hour and half now, my heart is gripped with fear. I woke up in the middle of the night because I had to finish some work, and ended up listening to a lecture in YouTube. That’s when I heard a sound of a burglary attempt in the front door. I am alone in the house, in a PG, my landlady is visiting her sister.

    Above incident is not the point.

    As my heart is, and still partially gripped with fear, I went through my social media feed to trick myself to distract from fear; to not dwell in my fear but focus on something else lest the fear consumes me and I ended up reading this blog and writing this.

    In the frailty of my heart right now, I tell you I completely understand when you say about the heart, that it is sinking and shrinking in the confines of your chest. And I’m going through the same right now with fear attached to my heart. It’s like my heart is being pulled by extra gravitational force! But for me it’s momentary. When the dawn will come, my fear will leave my heart.

    It’s not the same for depression. It doesn’t leave us when the time and season changes. But it follows wherever you go. Like a shadow it’s attached to your existence. WHO in their attempt to create awareness for depression, very aptly named it as ‘black dog’ (link below).

    I had my own experiences of having a black dog around, completely overwhelmed by a sense of unworthiness and constantly battling with existential crisis.
    It all ended a year ago.

    And I remain grateful for everything. That phase of my life, now in retrospect, made me stronger. I feel confident and bold because I survived that.

    It gave me a sense of purpose too. To be there for others and to understand those who are going through the same.
    Once depression made me effect and destroy my relationships, now it is helping me to build relationships.

    Trust me, this thing too shall pass for you.
    Hope you’ll find true joy in the coming days.
    Continue or (start if you don’t) to be grateful consistently/ purposively. It’s the real therapy: to be grateful!

    Here is the link I mentioned above: https://youtu.be/XiCrniLQGYc

    Thank you!
    Neena

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Neena for writing about your experiences and taking the time out to read about mine. I’ve had an overwhelming response from friends who have gone through such feelings but have never spoken about it.
      Many people have told me that this too shall pass. And I suppose over time it will. I can only hope.

      Like

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