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What Depression Feels Like: A First-Person Account

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It is not my friend.

Hanging out with a friend makes you grow, makes you open, makes you alive.

Hanging out with depression crushes me. I walk down the street and it’s like a stupid movie cliché when a piano drops down from 17 stories up and flattens me. It makes me small and dead. It feels like

I can’t breathe. I am alone and drowning and I can’t swim and the water is dark and vast and there is no bottom.

I want to just sleep I can’t wait to sleep but then it wakes me up, way before dawn. Insists I am awake, torturing me like the CIA with a terrorist only why am I the bad guy? It forces me up and keeps me up, forces my mind to keep thinking and thinking about nothing solving nothing. My body even so tired so tired is still no match.

I fear I will become psychotic or already am. I’m in a bad sci-fi movie when the camera is too close and the main character doesn’t know what’s real.

It overshadows everything. Everything good: good marriage good family good career good health good city good life good fucking weather. The sun doesn’t shine here, which feels stupid because of course it IS shining.

I don’t consider taking my own life it’s not an option and I don’t really want to die. But in the depths of the depths I want out. I feel I cannot survive this thing I’m not strong enough and feel I will die. I long to get cancer and just be so sick I can do nothing not even feel. But then I must survive it because I have no choice so I am stuck suffering.

It’s a thief who points a big gun at me and takes all of my joy. Not just the big stuff, I’m talking about the little stuff. It empties all my pockets of treasures. It stands, big and dark and strong and unmoving in the doorway between me and everything. I fall

silent. I am denied access.

It leaves me standing alone.

It won’t shut up, and worse it tells me the same story, again and again. and again. and again. and again. and again. and again.

The same story with the same bad ending.

I feel I am trapped and desperate to get out but where am I trapped and what the fuck do I want to get out of? My own skin? I want to run away/run away from myself.

But of course there is nowhere to go. I am always there.

I fear I can never go back to work again. I feel nothing but dread and that work is pointless and I have nothing to say. I am

ruined. But then I feel I was doing nothing much anyway. I’m tired of it. It has

no meaning.

When I am distracted, I almost feel ok/normal, which is disconcerting. I laugh at a joke. But then I watch myself laugh, knowing I could cry instead, which I do a lot, even though I am not a crier I can’t stop. I get asked a question or to make a choice and

I don’t know the answer.

I am aware I am quite ill. People who love me say: this is not you! You are strong and happy. You will grow from this. You will emerge even better than before. But right now it IS me. I am powerless over this illness. I have a terrible dis-ease of the mind that fills me with shame -

I am weak. I am afraid. I am crushed under the weight of bullshit. I write this and know the writing of it is important and good but I see it there, in the shadows, on the edges,

waiting. I see it lurking with a giant hammer and feel I am only very small. A bug under a giant shoe. I hold on desperately to my close friends, my family. All the clichés come to mind – I’m in the vast ocean holding on to a rope. In the vast desert gratefully taking each glass of water. Grateful so grateful they are there.

But I am afraid. Afraid

so afraid this giant beast will grow huge. It will be a disease that spreads, a virus that kills all good things. It will make everyone tired, will suck the life out of them like a vampire so I am left totally alone, kept company only with this horrible monster who

is not my friend.

-Anonymous

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