Forgive me. Yesterday was not a good day.
A little bit of extra pressure when one is not doing well is a terrible thing. I stumbled, fell over into the pit that I know so well, and I sank deep into its open arms. I could feel life slipping away from me. It’s the little things I notice first. Things like not enjoying my favourite TV programs or my morning cup of coffee. All of the joy those simple things usually bring me was missing. Gone.
I had the familiar overwhelming feeling of being completely alone. When you dance with the dark demon of depression, you dance alone. No one else can get through. He tricks you into thinking that there is no one there, that if there is someone that they don’t care. He convinces you that you are too much trouble for another person. No matter how close they are to you. He makes them feel out of reach. Too far away anyway. I felt completely alone. For a time, I sat in my room, by myself and reminded myself why the demon was right. I wasn’t worth caring about. I was too unlovable and too ugly to possibly deserve anyone’s care and attention. The deeper I sank into depression the truer it all felt.
Yesterday however, I was surrounded by people. By my husband, my mum and dad, my doctor, my nurses. They all seemed so far away. Like they couldn’t hear me or reach me down in the pit. They couldn’t join me so they couldn’t reach me. I could see them peering over the edge of the pit with worried looks on their faces. I could hear them whispering to each other “oh she’s not in a good way today” or “what should we do”. I could hear their echoes down in the pit of darkness. As much as I wanted to yell at them to help me, the dark demon of depression had his cold dank hand around my mouth and my mind and wouldn’t let me call out.
I sat for a long time in Scott’s company. I could hear him telling me that he loved me. Even though the demon was in control, I knew in some part of me that Scott was telling the truth. The demon was screaming in my ear that it wasn’t true, that no one could love someone like me, but Scott kept talking. I could hear him.
For just one moment I saw a light. A little sliver of light within the dark. I held on. I dared to have hope, then opened my mouth and said those three little words. The hardest words ever to say out loud. “I’m not ok.” Once uttered the sliver of light became a shaft and I felt a hand reach down and take mine. I was still in darkness and the voices in my head were still screaming, but I knew someone had me. Someone was there.
I had to admit to Scott the dark things I had contemplated while in the pit. Plans that were made, decisions that weren’t followed through. That is such a difficult thing to admit, how dark your thoughts are. It’s like if you say them out loud, they will sound so terrifying (like they are in your head) that you or anyone listening won’t be able to stand them. They are too scary and too dark for the light of day, but say them we must, for saying them out loud takes the heat out of them. It makes them less powerful. It keeps us safe and the people listening to them don’t usually turn away. They offer help. If it is only to listen.
I saw my doctor yesterday and we have a plan to get out of the pit. I’m still a bit shaken by being in the pit to focus on the plan but those around me keep reminding me what I must do next.
- Manage my stress
- Practise good thinking
- Do fun things
There is a ladder in my pit and I’m doing my best to climb out. I remind myself every day that as long as I can see that sliver of light, the demon of depression can’t get me. As long as I hold on, he can’t win. Whatever he tells me is not the truth. Even though the lies he tells are so convincing, he does not speak the truth.
People do love me. People do care about me. People will always try to help me. I am worthwhile and loving. It’s ok to ask for help. I am strong. As much as depression tries to convince me that these things are not true, I can still see that sliver of light, and while I can, I will hold on. I will hang on by my fingertips if I have to. Knowing that the dark demon of depression is a liar, is the first step. He never speaks the truth. This I know. And so remains the light.