The hard thing about depression is knowing that everyone who does not have depression is never going to understand you or your actions. No matter how hard they may try.
Depression, as an isolated concept, is something everyone can experience.
Firstly, there is a difference to being depressed and having depression.
Being depressed is reactionary; being depressed is having an emotional and human response to events in your life, and it lasts for a period.
Having depression is when you experience and battle depression always. Sometimes its different experiences or events in life that can cause it, sometimes you are just born with that imbalance.
But having depression is when all sense and logic is invalid. When you deal with someone who has depression, all the logic and rationale in the world is not going to make their actions or thoughts any easier to understand.
Having depression is a life battle.
Taking medication can make it easier; the aid is not a certain defense. Some days the meds will not work – even if we take them everyday at the right time.
All the meds do is try to balance the imbalance. Try to make sense of the paradoxical.
When my therapist and I began considering medication, this was something he tried very hard to make clear to me. Something that I understood, but was in no way prepared for.
Think of your humanity like a graph. You can experience emotions of numeral variety – in ups, downs, and neutrality. Different emotions respond to different stimuli at varying levels.
When you do not have depression, this roller-coaster of emotions – of the good, the bad and the ugly sides of humanity – occurs within a border of sorts. A border of the typical.
When you are depressed – either in being or having – you go beyond the borders.
This brings us to the second nature of depression: depression is not just ‘feeling sad’.
In having depression, I still experience the different emotions; my experience of them however does not fit in the typical sphere.
I can jump between extremes instantaneously, or spend days suspended in deafening apathy. Sometimes weeks.
Ever heard of that?
It is the core symptom of depression – not, as often understood and portrayed, low moods. People who have depression suffer anhedonia.
It is the inability to experience pleasure from activities typically found enjoyable. It is the inability to experience enjoyable behaviors – the inability, simply, to process rewarding experiences or feelings.
People who have depression are not choosing to wallow in it. We are not trying to be lazy or use it as an excuse; depression is not some brand of honor, and we do not want it to be the nucleus of our lives.
People who have depression cannot control it; but we try to make it livable. And its hard, because no one who has never experienced these things can understand that it is not as simple as getting up and starting the day.
Every morning – every single morning – I wake up disappointed. Because I woke up.
I start everyday with suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts are not necessarily the plans to commit suicide; it can be as simple as waking up every morning wishing you hadn’t.
I am 23 years old and I am exhausted. Every day.
Every morning I try to make my bed; so that everyday, even if everything else has gone wrong or I cannot make it through the fog of my depression I did something.
It seems a simple task; to get out of bed, and make it.
But sometimes it takes every fibre of my being to get myself up to do that basic task. That is how unmotivated I am; where I cannot look to future aspirations as a guide to keep going because I can barely get through the five minutes of making a bed.
Sleep is the only escape; dreamless sleep.
Sometimes I can make myself go through the day, hour by hour until I can sleep and I don’t have to fight every second to keep going.
Other days I can’t; so I just stay in bed and I sleep.
Sometimes for hours. Sometimes for a day. Sometimes, I will stay in bed sleeping for days.
I wish I could just get on with it; or that I could make people understand that I am still trying.
I am 23 years old, and for years I have wished I could just stop and welcome eternal sleep.
But tomorrow I will get up. I will try to do the things I know I should do. And I will try to make it look like I want to do those things.
Then, I will have to go to sleep and do it all again the next day.
And each morning, I am going to have to face that first instinctive disappointment when I wake up.
That is having depression. I wish I could tell my parents this; but it isn’t simple. This answer is not simple. And it also isn’t enough.
So instead, I’ll say “its fine“, “not bad” or, can’t complain“. Because its simpler.
And all I really want is just to get to the point where I can sleep again.