I know a lot of people think that us depressives spend our down times crying or screaming or angry or hurting ourselves but in all honesty, I would probably class those as the good days. For me, personally, the really rough times are the ones when you don’t feel anything, I don’t even feel human when I’m down. I won’t cry, I won’t be angry, I won’t feel sad, I just don’t feel. I literally don’t care about anything, myself, my family, my friends, my interests, my work, nothing.
I always class my rock bottom as losing time, because I do, it can last half an hour or it can last for months, and that’s time that I’ll never have back, that’s time stolen from me because I don’t tend to do anything, or when I do I don’t remember it, I have no memories of it, it’s like an out of body experience, things are happening but I’m just not present. Now, coming out of that state, that’s when the shit shall hit’th the fan, that’s the anger, the sadness, the need to feel. That’s the stuff that is actively being seen, that’s what the world sees, someone who is sad and lost and angry. The part they never see is the internal suffering, and that’s a lot of what depression really is, yeah sure we can externalise our feelings but we can never really sum up what’s happening on the inside.
I love art, art has helped me with so much in my life and the worst part about the down times is that I can’t even enjoy it, and that’s what really gets to me about the numb part of it all, things I’m in love with just because some mediocre stuff that I don’t care about. I never reply to my friends, I don’t talk to my family, I’m useless when I’m at work, and nothing makes me happy, for me that’s really what defines depression.
Don’t get me wrong, the extreme feelings are horrific as well, but at least they make me feel vaguely human, I’m not in control of them and that’s terrifying and exhausting but I’m present, and I’m feeling, and I’m not a shell of a human. As much as I know rock bottom doesn’t last forever it’s really hard to convince yourself of that when you’re there.
But unfortunately rock bottom is a fact of life, and coming to terms with it or fighting it is all down to how you deal with it, there’s no right or wrong way, there’s no handbook, there’s just survival and will power and even if you lose hope there is always a silver lining and things can get easier to deal with, possibly even better. No one is going to come along and teach you exactly how to cope, but you will learn from mistakes, you will meet people that help you to become more in-tune with your brain. We’re a family, we look out for each other, and all the stigma attached to depression needs to be kicked in the ass because we are strong, we are focused, we are dealt a shitty hand but it’s that shitty hand that makes us who we are. If I could go back and never have to deal with all the stuff I’ve dealt with then I wouldn’t be who I am now, and that’s something I would never change.