Depression, for me, is a sneaky son-a-salamander . It slithers up when I’m tired, vulnerable, scared, in physical pain, grieving intensely, or just because I’m not holding my nose right.
A gentle fog rolls in and lulls me into a place where I think I think I’ve never felt so low. The fog draws me in and chills me to the core. Soon a warm, soft blanket is placed, ever so gently, round my shoulders and begins to sooths me as does hot chocolate and Bailey’s during a snowstorm.
Mourning Moon – acrylic on burlap
I generally lose my appetite at this point, although in the past, I’ve also had the pendulum swing the other way and eaten more than usual. Regardless, both states leave me feeling out of control and frustrated for not being able to fix myself. I cry constantly and frequently can’t pinpoint the cause. I ruminate to the point where I’m beating myself up for stupid things I said or did in grade 1!
The warm blanket around me next begins to tighten. Restricting my grip on reality a little more.
I may have trouble getting out of bed, I sleep too much or can’t sleep at all. I also may find it difficult to motivate myself to do anything. I just want to sleep and cry.
The blanket restricts me further, covering my face and slowly smothering me. I loose motivation to do laundry, wash my hair, put on make-up, relax or give myself a shred of a break. At this stage I firmly believe my depression is all my fault and I am just taking up space in the world…not useful.
If I let that blanket get any tighter I end up in either in or outpatient care on a psychiatric ward or with increased therapy sessions. I’m not ready to share details about those experiences until I get a little braver though.
Please know I am not experiencing the very worst depressed and/or panicked state currently. The tightness of the blanket is breathable for now. However it still has an effect on my day to day life constantly.
For anyone who’s ever experienced depression on any level I hope this post makes you feel less alone. I also hope it might help loved ones to understand what it might feel like to be depressed.