On depression

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I’m thankful for days that I can breathe.

I don’t know if you’ve ever battled against depression. I don’t know if you can even stretch your imagination to have a minute understanding of what it is to be depressed.

For me, depression was like a tiny child that I carried to full term. At first glance I saw that this darkness was growing inside of me. I could have rid myself of it. Casting it aside would have been the logical course of action. I could have aborted all of the darkness growing inside of me and moved forward.

But I could already see the glimmer of people who didn’t fully understand. They couldn’t know what it was like to have a darkness that was starting to really develop. It had this strange magnetic property. Anyone who grew too close to me, would be so repulsed by what I was caring for, that they would turn on their heels and run. They would say things about how they cared, but they could not help me.

So they left and I felt abandoned.
And after all of the mystery of it, I gave birth to my depression. For so long no one just looking at me would have known. It took prodding, asking the right questions. But the second I gave birth to it, no one could deny it. I had carried this monster to full term and now in some sick twisted way, I was taking care of it.

I was feeding it. I was encouraging it to grow. Because, something had changed within me. I had discovered that it was mine. After I had encountered so many people who wanted to take things away from me that they had no business taking, I realized that I had some semblance of ownership of it.

So I outright rejected attempts to help me. I argued that I was fine. I would be fine. I felt fine.

I wasn’t fine. That word itches in the back of my throat in much the same way that normal does. Relative terms that we slap onto people and hope that there is no attention called to how ever shifting and changing those states of being are. Fine doesn’t exist.

I’ve yet to meet a soul who says that they are fine and doesn’t have some underlying darkness that they are hiding.

I’m just thankful that now I can breathe. This darkness still follows me around. Some days I let it hang onto me and function as a second skin.

But mostly I don’t feel like this darkness will envelop me.

And I can laugh at the days to come. And I have hope. I have faith. And, I have this silent strength that blossoms in times of great distress and celebrates tiny victories.

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4 thoughts on “On depression

  1. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for describing depression and your struggle with it so accurately. Most of all, thank you for having hope. It gives the rest of us hope too, that we can overcome our own battle with it.

    • I’m glad that it could help. I needed to say it out loud, because constantly battling to hide it is cowardice. I am not a freak. I’m a warrior. And just because my enemy is in my head, it doesn’t make it less real. And it all feels vanity if you don’t share it. Like, depression wins if it can keep me silent. Always always have hope, darling. Always.

  2. Ashley, I know all too well what you are talking about. In college I dealt with that ugly birth of depression as well and it almost killed me. Now, one of my daughters deals with it on a daily basis. It is not pretty and it takes our identiy away! You are right, not many people can understand or relate cause to them we should “just smile and let it go”, “don’t worry so much”, “don’t make it out to be such a big deal”, whatever else they have said…They don’t get it – no one could unless they have been there.
    I appreciate your insight on this and the positive thought you ended it with. It is inspiring and helpful. That is what we must do – inspire others and lift them up…you keep it up sis! Love you

    • Thanks, Lori. I really felt like I needed to really dive deeply into this concept when I shared this. I think that people need to understand that depression is a monster. And that it can’t be just wished away.

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