This post is hard for me to write today. I feel like I have no energy. I feel like I don’t want to do anything but sleep. I can feel the darkness settling in and it doesn’t feel good. It blocks out the light and robs of me all the joy that is around me.
Depression is more than just “feeling down”. I’ve been battling with depression since I was in middle school. It doesn’t always need a trigger. It just happens and once it’s here, it’s hard to climb out of the dark hole you feel like you’ve fallen into. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I’ve been in this dark place too many times to count and I know that I will find my way out because I continue to fight. I continue to remain strong. You need to fight the darkness. It’s when you stop fighting that it can swallow you whole.In a lot of ways I almost wish my anxiety were as bad as it was three years ago. Back then my anxiety masked my depression. Sure, I would feel depressed, but my anxiety was stronger. My anxiety forced me to be on edge constantly. Sure it would make me cry or feel like I was dying, but it was something I could physically deal with. Once we figured out a main cause of my anxiety, my depression had nothing to hide behind. As my anxiety slowly became less and less I started to feel my depression more. And depression is darkness. Pure darkness that just wants to drag you down.
But, I don’t want this post to be all doom and gloom. We all have our bad days, and I know that. And we all fight struggles internally that others know nothing about. And although I feel like just curling up and sleeping today and doing nothing, I know I have to continue living. I have to go to work. I have to take care of my furry babies. I have to eat. I have to force myself to make it minute by minute through the day. That’s the battle that I have to fight against the darkness because I can’t let it win.
Depression is all consuming. And if you let it, it will drag you so far down that it will feel almost impossible to climb out. The problem is people think depression is just a down mood, but what they don’t understand is how it literally takes over your entire being. They think you can “snap out of it”. And yet, as much as you wish you could, you can’t. You just have to keep fighting the battle and not give up. You need to find the light again. And it will happen, even if it doesn’t feel like it will.
So, what do I do on days like today when I’m struggling? I try to treat my body with love and listen to it. I know I want to just go to sleep, so I might take some blankets, curl up on the couch, and try reading a bit to get out of my head and the thoughts that are threatening to tear me apart. I choose essential oils that are uplifting and put them in my diffuser. Right now I have Stress Away and Joy diffusing. I try to stay in the present moment. I reach out to my husband for support. And I talk. I talk about how I’m feeling. Or I write. Anything to get my feelings out. I just try to relax the best I can and make it through the day.
And if you see me on the street today you won’t know the internal struggle that I’m fighting. I’ll smile. I’ll try to act like myself. I’ll laugh. To the outside person I might seem fine, normal in fact. But, internally, all I want to do is shut out the world and go to sleep. Those of us with depression, we are the best actors. We learn how to show a certain side of ourselves to the world while we fight the inner darkness. Unless it gets really bad, we can usually hide behind a smile. And that’s the dangerous part about depression. Nobody will know unless you tell them. Unless you reach out for help. And when you feel the darkness setting in you need to reach out for help. Reach out to a loved one. A friend. Anybody. Because you can’t fight the darkness alone. The more support you have, the more successful you will be in climbing your way out of the dark hole.
If you suffer from depression, keep fighting. Never give up. And ask for support. There is no shame in saying, “I’m having a bad day and could use your help.” Knowing someone is there, who cares makes all the difference. Today I continue to fight the battle. I choose to continue to fight against the darkness. I will not let it rob me of my light!
Struggling? Need Help? Reach Out To One Of These Resources Below. You Are Not Alone.
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness):
Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
AFSP (American Foundation for Suicide Prevention):
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: