You have your good days and your bad days, but you also have your good weeks and your bad weeks. And your bad weeks are awful. Because it’s day after day after day of feeling low and worthless and hopeless and tired and numb… And sometimes, it just gets too hard to handle.
It’s not that you want to die. No. You do want to live. You want to see your future. You want to get married and have kids and a dog and help people through the career you’ve always dreamed of… But living is hard. Your friends and family say it’s not hard because life is so, so worth living and you’re just going through a rough time but it will get better because life just does get better… But you just can’t believe them. It hurts to even listen to them. Because they keep talking about this light at the end of the tunnel and saying that you’ll get there, you will, but you can’t see it. You can’t see what they see. All you see is darkness behind you and in front of you, and that’s scary, okay? That’s terrifying. And you don’t want to have to keep trudging through the darkness. It’s too much. You’re tired, you’re exhausted, and you want to sleep and never wake up. You don’t want to have to deal with this anymore. You don’t want to feel low like this anymore. Of course you want to see your future, but if that means having to live through an unknown amount of time feeling likethis? You don’t know if life is really worth all of that.
And oh, they will tell you that it is. They will tell you that you deserve to live your life, you deserve the great future that is coming your way because you’re an amazing person. And beyond that, what of all of your friends and family? What of all the people you will be leaving behind? What of all the people who will be absolutely heartbroken that you’re gone? And you can admit that you don’t want that. You have spent your entire life making sure that the people around you, the people whom you love and care about, are as happy as possible. You have spent your entire life putting your loved ones first, and you would never, ever do anything to hurt them (at least not intentionally). And you realize that leaving would be hurting them because they all love you just as much as you love them and they want you and need you to stay. But you can’t. You just can’t. For once in your life, you want to put yourself first. You want to choose the easy way instead of the “right” way. You want to choose the escape route because you are so, so tired of fighting all the time, and sure, it’s great to challenge yourself, but you’re burnt out. You are burnt out from living, and you just can’t find the motivation in yourself to keep fighting against the overwhelming wave that is depression.
But your loved ones, oh those dear people whom you value so much, they will do everything in their power to keep you here. They will make phone calls and stay by your side and take you to people who are trained to help people in your situation and remind you to take your antidepressants and check on you and make sure that you are eating… And it’s nice. It is. Sometimes, it’s a little overbearing (or oftentimes, it’s a little overbearing), but they’re worried about you. And you realize and understand that. They love you and care about you and are worried about you, and they’re just trying to take care of you because they want you to stay. They don’t want you to leave. But even with all of their help and support, it still doesn’t feel like enough. It still doesn’t feel like you can withstand the wave of darkness, even with their hands holding yours and supporting you from all sides.
So what do you do? Do you keep forcing yourself to get out of bed every single day and keep going through the motions? Do you keep forcing yourself to socialize and smile and laugh and be with the people you love? Or do you give up? Do you let yourself give up? Do you let yourself choose the “selfish” option for once in your life? The final option?
You don’t know. You just don’t know. You don’t know what to do or where to run or who to ask for help. You don’t know how to get through this. You don’t know if you want to get through this (but that’s a lie, you do want to get through this, but it’s just so hard). You are lost and confused and scared. You are scared every second of every waking minute because depression is the most terrifying demon you’ve ever had to face and it’s inside you. It’s not something you can revisit to fight again like some video game monster. No, it’s inside you and it’s ever present, and you don’t know what to do with it. You just want to stop. You have always been a fighter, a winner to the best of your ability, but this time… This time, you think it’s okay to lose.
Everyone else thinks it’s absolutely not okay to lose. Everyone else thinks you should keep trying. And because you’re so lost and confused, you do what they say and keep trying and reach out for help when you stumble because they will never let you fall all the way if they can help it but even then… Even then it gets to the point that you feel like reaching out for help is just pointless. You are helpless and why even try?
Why not just stop? But that’s apparently not an option and you just wish all of this was over. You just wish you didn’t have to deal with it. Because you’ve had a good life and you are so fortunate and it’s almost unfair of you, awful of you, really, to be depressed when you’ve had such a good life (but that’s not true, you can’t control something like depression, especially when there’s a genetic history of it in your family, but you still feel like you shouldn’t have depression when others have gone through so much worse in their lives and they’re fine). So what do you do?
You close your eyes, and try to calm the maelstrom of thoughts in your mind. And when they’re at least a little quieter (when the shouts of worthless and hopeless and helpless and stupid and pathetic and just give up already become words spoken with an inside-voice or even whispers), you open your eyes again. Your eyes are tired and sad, but you put a smile on the rest of your face and you trudge on.
Because today is the not day to stop. You’re going to pick yourself up and keep moving (even though you don’t know how or why). And you’re going to stay for one more day. Because that’s all you can do. Just live through today. And you can revisit the option of leaving tomorrow (and sometimes, you think that’s the only thing that gets you through the day – the idea of a tomorrow, a paradoxically hopeful idea that says you can end your life if you just live one more day).
And of course that doesn’t make sense (and you feel like the only people who would understand it are people in your situation, and you don’t know any of those people, so basically no one around you understands, or at least seems to understand). But that’s what it is. And that’s all you can manage to say.