Depression plagues my life. It has done for close to 15 years, nearly half my life. A dark shadow that never leaves me. Sometimes it’s not as obvious, it’s smaller, it’s fainter, but it’s always there. I’ve almost accepted that I’ll always be followed around by this. Accepted that medication is likely to feature in most of my future. Maybe, one day, this shadow will become a friend rather than an uncomfortable reminder of my problems. It’s especially bad right now, as it feels like a reminder of everything that’s wrong, everything that I’ve lost, everything I’ve had to give up. The shadow hanging over me makes it harder to remember the positive, to remember that this isn’t all I have. Some people would probably use the cloud analogy but, for me, I feel that depression will always be there. I won’t be cured but may have remission periods. That’s how it has been in the past. Maybe the chemicals in my brain just don’t regulate properly and never will on their own, just like my thyroid. All I know is that, right now, I feel like the shadow is becoming me. It shouldn’t be like that but I have started to feel like I am nothing more than a (barely) walking human shaped mass of depression. It’s not just that I am sad; depression is much more than that. I don’t function at this point. Dark thoughts fill my mind if I don’t distract it enough, something that is hard when I can’t focus on much for long. The darkness engulfs me, leading to self doubt, a lack of any positivity, a crushing feeling of wonky thoughts that I know aren’t right but I can’t act on the rational ones. Anxiety comes to visit and I start to question the things I do, say, think. The hurricane of emotions and negativity that can suddenly hit me within minutes and stick with me for days, weeks, months.
I recently admitted that life had got this bad. That I couldn’t continue the way I was. That I couldn’t continue at all. Help is there and I am trying so hard to accept that I am ill and need to actually focus on myself. I need to learn new ways to move out of the shadows, one of the hardest of those: learning to be kind to myself. It is slow, a steep learning curve. I have a long way to go, even without the physical complaints too, but I will get there, eventually. I will emerge from my shadow again. I might not be entirely the same person but one thing will be certain: I will be stronger.