Endless pain. That's what it feels like. The pain may shift to different places of the body, it may change in intensity, but it is always there. I feel sick a lot of the time from this pain. I feel tired most if not all the time because of this pain. The endless tingle of pain moves from my stomach to my head, or my back, and even to my neck. The endless feeling of agony can not be seen through x-rays or scans. This feeling is often tossed to the side, forgotten about or ignored by loved ones. We pretend to forget about it too, but we never really can. We can never fully forget or ignore this pain we feel at every second of every day. We try. We take medicine, meditate, try activities, read, sleep, but it never really goes away. Sometimes it is small and barely there. Sometimes it gives us a break, but eventually, it will flare up again. Depression is an endless pain. It can not be seen, but it is very real and it is always there, we are covered by darkness and hopelessness.
Depression, defined by Webster is, "a psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies." Depression is more than feeling sad all the time as many people may like to think. It's more complex than that, it is a psychotic disorder. It is something caused when our brains are sick. Damaged. Depression is an illness, not an emotion.
I often tell people that I don't feel well, that I'm feeling sick. It's true. I may not be "sick" is the sense that I am running a high fever or carrying a contagious disease, but sick enough to the point that I don't want to go out. My stomach or head hurts to the point that I feel like it is never ending. No aspirin can help stop this feeling. My chest often feels like someone is placing brick after brick on top if it, making it harder to breathe with every inhale. My head has someone pressing against it with all of their might as a marching band plays in the background the song with the most high notes. My stomach is being squeezed by two wrestlers who are convinced if they squeeze it hard enough they will win a worldwide title. This is all awful, but the thing that caused me the most pain is that on some days, my heart hurts. Not metaphorically like when you go through a bad break up, but like it's giving out. Like someone took a kitchen knife to my chest and hit the center of my heart.
Depression takes a lot out of someone who is always expected to be an extrovert. I must be smiling every second of the day or I must be looking for attention because people just expect me to be cheerful all the time. I am the verbal diary to everyone in my class, at my workplace, even at home, but I can not confide in someone without them not understanding or saying something along the lines of "How? What do you mean? Your life is perfect. You have to just get over it. You don't understand what it's like to be really sad." Why do people question why I am exhausted all the time? Imagine you were forced to live a double life, but one day a person from each life you live meet each other unexpectedly right in front of you. Imagine how stressful that would be to try to figure out how to keep your double lifestyle a secret with both of them standing there. That's how my life is every single day along with millions of others. It takes everything in us to throw on a happy, believable smile every day and laugh at jokes we don't have the energy to laugh at. Please, be kind to us. When we tell you we are too tired to go out or to do the extra house work, believe us. It's not that we are meaning to be rude or trying to get out of doing things, but it's that our bodies are too drained to do anything extra. Also, I'm sorry. We all are. We wish we could have more energy because our number one priority is your happiness, always.
Many people who struggle with depression can not see any light. They are covered in complete darkness. At first, this darkness covers the edge of the room around us, then it fills in, its flows through the entire space around us before it overtakes our bodies and once it does that, it's hard to stop it from taking over our minds and hearts. The darkness is a powerful creature. It is mysterious and can do the most wicked things to our bodies and minds. Depression's darkness can and will turn any good event into something that brings us anxiety and sadness. The darkness will help us believe that people, no matter how much they tell us the opposite, never love us. That our friends and family are obviously pretending to tolerate us only to not have to deal with our response to rejection or to be able to get to know our deepest fears and use them against us. The darkness depression brings with it is powerful. It is hard to see light. We need someone who is willing to fight for our little light. Someone to bring us a candle. We need someone to help us build a campfire in our darkness to help us eventually build a lamp bright enough to find a window to open up to the sun. Be someone's light. It will be hard, it will be frustrating at times, but even if we never ask for any, we always need help.
If we don't find someone to help bring light back to our lives, the hopelessness starts to settle in. Hopelessness in the idea that we will never feel better. That no one could ever, possibly love us. We will soon deny any kind of sadness. We will never think anything is wrong with us. We will make this sadness and sickness and tiredness part of our daily routine. We will mark out time for our depressive episodes. We will allow it to be a part of us forever, never accepting help or advice. We will isolate ourselves and learn how to live with going outside as little as possible. We will stay inside by ourselves until someone forces their company on us. We will be angry or upset about the company at first and then we will realize how much we miss it, but tell ourselves that we could never possibly make plans because we do not have any real friends. This hopelessness and isolation will help turn our depression into acts of suicide attempt after suicide attempt. These attempts may be successful, but hopefully, they will not. For most of us, it isn't until we threaten our life that someone tries to be our light, but more times than not, it will be too late. It will be nearly impossible for us to allow someone else to come sit with us in our darkness and help bring light. If we do, do not let go of that for even a minute.
Some of us who have or are battling depression can learn that no matter how far in the darkness you are, there is hope. Some of us accept the help offered by our friends or family and once we do it changes us for good. Sometimes it takes more than one person with a candle to help us realize there is hope, but that is why we need people to stand up for us. We need people to not come and start to make us feel better, to help us, and then leave. We need people who will not abandon us. People who want to help, who love us and want to understand. We need someone to confide in who will not brush it off. Someone who is willing to fight for us. Please, fight for us. I know we all are tired of this endless pain.