The past couple of months I’ve been in a deep depression. My body and mind have felt completely numb and while I’ve spent hours each day crying it’s been out of frustration, not sadness.

Reality is blurred at the best of times when you’re depressed.
I shut myself away and convince myself that’s for the best anyway, because nobody would want to see me or talk to me. I’m a waste of space. But add to that a forum full of strangers discussing you, debating your relationship, discussing your children, questioning your morals… that’s a reality that a depressed brain doesn’t know what to do with. That it can’t let go of.

Conversations I know about because they link to my writing, and dismiss my ‘woe-is-me drama’. To stir up further discussion about an app I’m no longer on. That I see because they sent nearly 500 women my way in two days. That I clicked because I had to know, in a twisted, masochistic way I needed to know what was being said.

Deleting Instagram has had as much of a negative effect on my mental health as it has had a positive. Less pressure, less daily criticism, less feeling like my time belongs to somebody else, yes. But also less conversation, less support, less people who get it because they’ve been there too. It’s been a shitty month and I’ve felt like an idiot for feeling sad about an app. I’ve also run away from any responsibilities I had there, and by doing so I’ve been able to hide in my darkness more. I didn’t have to force myself for anything. I’ve burnt bridges that could have been part of a journey to something great for me and for my family. Which adds to my guilt further, sending me deeper into the place I need to be pulled out from.

Depression tells me the worst about myself. It distorts the image in the mirror to something repulsive I can’t look at. It pushes away the people I love and makes decisions I will only regret. And then I read that all I want in life is attention, and that my partner clearly doesn’t care about me, and I look old, and I’m self-centred, and I’m dishonest… and my brain snatches those words and goes full Jack Torrence, painting them in six foot letters across the walls. The words drip in red everywhere I look until I believe them. All of them.

My depression hasn’t been caused by others, that’s not how it works and I would never try to blame anybody else for my broken brain. But this time it has definitely been made worse, recovery has been harder. Every time I feel like I’m reaching the light somebody says something, or I remember what was already said and I retreat back to the darkness so quick nobody would even notice I had been out.

I said in my last post I was scared to write, in honesty I’ve been scared to even exist.

I’ve been hidden away at home, when I’ve had to leave the house I’ve covered my body in unnoticeable clothes, not touched make-up, left my hair in a dirty ponytail. I’ve not been able to hold eye contact, or conversations. I’ve wished over and over that I could just disappear, that I could flick a switch and the lights over me go out, let me be alone in my darkness.

The past few days I’ve been feeling lighter. The heavy fog has lifted slightly and some sunshine has got through. But that doesn’t mean things are much easier, I’m still stumbling around vaguely attempting to find my way out. I’ve not been able to pick up the phone to make a doctor’s appointment, and have had nobody do it for me. I’ve not been able to open up and talk, because it feels deserved, justified, yet stupid and attention-seeking.

I can see the sunshine but the fog still lingers.

Photo by Fabian Irsara on Unsplash