Do you know the sound of your best friend crying out to die? What about what it’s like to wander at night because you don’t have the energy to go home? How many times a day do you think about offing yourself? Do you think about it so much that it’s involuntary, that it is a hardwired response your brain sends out when faced with anything negative?
I almost walked into a train once. I think about buying a gun often. I want so badly to stop breathing sometimes: to not have to wake up, get dressed, go to school, go to work, talk to people, read, eat, drink, anything. I feel empty inside. That’s all there really is to it: not sadness, just emptiness.
The thing is, though, I also know that these feelings never last forever. Maybe that’s part of what depression is. I know it is a part of it for me. The idea that I am a failure is something that never leaves my head. It is constantly there. It looms at work, in relationships, during class. I feel my limbs go heavy and my brain set itself on repeat, cycling through the same negative thoughts. I know I’m stuck with this. It’s something I have to deal with and see through until it passes. Sometimes being around friends can help; sometimes it makes things worse. You don’t want to drag them down into your negativity, and seeing their happiness can make you jealous.
I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve seen others go through it. I’ve heard ‘it gets better’ so many times that it doesn’t just sound like a lie to me; it sounds like a phrase that has no meaning. It’s just something people say when they are supposed to. I am not going to say that because I know that it doesn’t always work out that way. What I will say is that it’s always worth trying to make things better. There’s no easy answer for depression. We can take medication to keep it in check or go to therapy to try and cure it. Some people overcome it, and others are consumed by it. People face this every day of their lives, racked with pain and guilt. They’re fed the same line: ‘it gets better’, and they never feel like it will. They feel bad because they don’t feel like it’s true like it’s their fault that things aren’t getting better. There are men and women who will live and die homeless on the streets, and things will never get better for them. There are teenagers who will never live long enough to see things get better because everything was so bad for them they couldn’t hold out.
So to those who face their depression constantly, I want to say this instead of ‘it gets better’: don’t stop moving, because the future is uncertain and full of possibility. The more you try, the more chances you have of succeeding and one success can lead to a string of others. Do not let the world break you and make you hard. Do not shut down because you feel overloaded. Try.