I had to hit the bottom, before I could push my way back towards the top.
I never thought I’d find myself here. In this dark lonely place. Who does. You trudge along merrily, living your life, when before you know it you’ve hit a road block. Then another. Then another. It’s not long until you’re buried so deep in the rubble, you can’t imagine clawing your way out.
The simple act of drawing your next breath becomes a chore so taxing, you’re unsure if you are even capable of it. You do it anyway. Each jagged inward draw, more heart wrenching than the previous, but still they keep coming.
You close all the windows, draw the curtains and lock all the doors up tight. Phones ring endlessly, unanswered. Door chimes toll until fading away in the distance as their initiator walks away rejected. Still, you hide, in the dark, beyond their reach. Alone and miserable. A fate of your own making.
Coming back sounds easy enough. Until you attempt it.
For some it requires medication. Others pure strength of will. I’ve always considered myself the latter. Until this time. I’ve never gone to a doctor to be diagnosed. You might ask why, but the answer is simple really. I didn’t want to know what he’d find.
I’ve always dwelled in the dark places. They’re my home. My poetry resides there. My thoughts flickering here and there. Sure, I’m part of the light too. It’s just that the dark feels more comfortable. Like a soft down comforter, in front of a fire-place. To have a doctor tell me that it was unhealthy here, was not words I was prepared to hear. So I didn’t.
Depression. We’ve all faced it a time or two in our lives, whether we knew it or not. To most it’s just a blip on the radar. A bad day scattered in amongst all the good ones. For some it lasts a little longer. Clinging on like a desperate relationship. Wringing out that last bit of hope before dashing away back to its dark corners.
Sounds scary doesn’t it? The funny thing is, that’s not even the worse case. When depression sinks its teeth down deep, and wraps its slithery, slimy tongue around your soul, and four walls become the only site you will see for
days, weeks, months on end…then you learn the true meaning of terror.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but two weeks ago, when things came crashing down on me, I never once thought I would shut myself out away from friends and family. I just knew I was having a really, really, bad day that seemed destined to push me across some invisible threshold. Little did I realize, it would be two weeks later before I began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I haven’t spoken to another person in at least one full week. Not for lack of trying from a few really good friends, and supportive comments that I read here on WordPress. I couldn’t bring myself to answer any of them. Believe me, I tried. My fingers would be on the keys but I couldn’t seem to press them down to form actual words. Guilt pushed down on me, making the darkness thicker. I felt like a horrible person for not acknowledging their kindness, and thanking them at the very least. Avoidance became the word of the week, so I shut down all access to the internet, and stayed away from anything requiring an answer from me.
This morning, for the first time, I took a deep breath and didn’t feel like it was crushing me. The sun was shining outside (albeit briefly) and everything seemed bright and new. Like a shiny penny. Am I out of the woods yet? I can’t answer that. What triggered such a strong incident in me? I cannot answer that either. I do know that there was a lot going on in my life the day the lights went out. Some good, mostly bad. A lot of little things that just accumulated into one hell of a meltdown. I can’t even guarantee the nightmare is over. For right now though.. in just this moment.. I have once more found my voice.
For anyone out there, suffering from depression, and feeling alone, take it from me… there really is a light at the end of the tunnel. It may be faint, it may take its’ sweet ass time coming… but it’s there. All you have to do is reach for it.