What Depression Feels Like & How to Get Through It
Depression is scary. Sometimes it slowly creeps up - the little things day to day that you brush off as not being a big deal. It's something small; it's just stress; it's something you'll figure out when things calm down. Then all of a sudden it's like someone flicked off a light switch and everything is dark. You don't know what step to take next because you cannot see anything. It's dark, and endless, and overwhelming. And everything you know you need to do to feel better seems impossible.
All you can do is get really still and wait for the lights to come back on, not moving so that you don't hurt yourself any more than you're already hurting. The more you fight it, the more damage you do; the deeper you fall into the hole. It's that stillness, that nonjudgement and non-reaction that keeps you safe. It's okay to not be okay - focus on that stillness, and in the moments that feel a little lighter, take baby steps to move past this phase. Because it is just a phase, and it will pass.
When I say baby steps, I mean it. Trying to do everything you can to get better all at once will make things twice as hard. And be grateful for the light moments. Don't attach to them, don't expect them again tomorrow, just be glad you got a moment's reprieve from the heaviness. Eventually, the moments of lightness will last a little longer & come a little more often, until they begin to outweigh the darkness. And when you can, try to be grateful for the darkness. There is divinity and beauty in it. It forces you to clean out that which no longer serves you, and makes more room for that which does. I know it doesn't seem like it when you're in it, but everything is happening exactly as it should be.
side note - I wrote the two halfs of this post a few weeks apart, and in two different phases of dealing with depression. The first half was in a dark, terrifying moment. The second was in a brief moment of lightness. Both together show the different sides of what this disorder is like - confusing, exhausting, and a fucking roller coaster.
Image is by Lauren Brooke Sanchez. She is an artist located in Calgary - find more of her work here.