We all like to hold on to that one thing that can cheer us up no matter how hard things get. A lot of my friends would say music, a really good film, their favorite TV series, food, or their friends. Once I would have told you it was reading or writing.
It’s nearly unimaginable for that one thing to not work, to suddenly lose its magic and not be able to cheer you up. You’d play your favorite song, just waiting for the good vibes to come and fill you, but it doesn’t. Or you’d put on your favorite episode from your series but a quarter into it and you still feel glum.
Think of that feeling for a moment if you can; that’s sort of what depression feels like to me, except about everything. It’s this inescapable gloom that just shadows everything and paddles me back and forth between feeling too much and not feeling anything at all.
When I can muster up the strength to go anywhere or do anything, I end up spacing out and feeling existentially frustrated with how I can’t find myself interested in anything at all. All thoughts lead directly to, “What the hell is the point anyway?” When I find the absence of an answer, I spiral down further into thick, black self-loathing.
Nearly seven weeks into the new year, and I have only failures to tell you about. It’s often said that “the only real failure is the failure to try,” and that seems to be the problem. I’m way too depressed to try, and the eventual consequences of my not doing anything make me even more depressed because “Why didn’t I do anything when I had the chance?”
I could not begin the year with gusts of motivation like people usually do: writing and rewriting lists of goals and resolutions, promises of “new year, new me” that never really happen. The difference between me and them is that they tried. I didn’t. I had no idea how to.
This slump is too familiar. I first met it four years ago in a fit of heartbreak and homesickness. There is none of those two this time, so I am wondering why this is happening. I am probably the most sensitive, emotional person I have ever known, but I have also spent four or five years trying to talk myself out of it. There are always a blockage of excuses, real or imaginary, the old and the new.
Every time I think I’ve beaten the monster, it crawls back out of a corner and onto my shoulder. I dreamed of a demon the other night. All it had to do was whisper my name slowly into my ear and I fell apart at once. The hard thing is I don’t know if I’m depressed because I feel weak or I’m weak because I feel depressed.
There are so many things that could be said to me, mostly encouraging and supporting words that don’t know anything other than good intent, but nothing addresses the fact that I just can’t get anything done. I can’t read what I want to read, and it took me all week to even write this down. I probably won’t even keep it up for a long time after it’s posted.
The closer I get to the finish line the more scared I am of getting there. What I can’t get people to understand is that I am not a fighter. I am afraid of finishing this race only to have to begin another one that will take the wind out of my lungs again. I am not afraid of not making it out alive. I am afraid precisely of continuing to live when all I want to do is stop.