A few weeks ago, Leah Peah wrote about what her bad days were like. Mine feel really similar, actually. It is an effort just to remember to breathe enough to get up a flight of stairs without fainting, and every real breath opens up my chest and crosses the emotional pain threshold. Each breath makes me feel, and I don’t want to feel. I go into zombie mode.
What I don’t want to feel is this: Depression, to me, is like what it feels like sitting on the edge of a cliff, feet dangling down, kicking the empty air. you lean forward and look straight down, but the leaning startles you and your skin jumps at the thought that, just by leaning a little more, you’d have nothing to save you. There is noting holding you in place but gravity… the same gravity that will pull you straight down 300 feet if you let it.
That heady power and fear of knowing that your life is 100% in your hands at that very moment and the empty sick void that opens up inside you at the thought. The abyss inside that opens up to the abyss outside.
That splitting open of a hole in your chest, leaving your heart cold, alone and windblown as the rest of you sitting above the cliff. that’s what depression is like for me. At its worse my ears start ringing , my pulse beats in my neck and I break a sweat. I am suddenly thrust into this hyper-reality… like intense Computer Generated Imagery, more real than it possibly could be so it is clearly not.
And yet it is as real as the breath I breathe. And it sticks with me, rising and falling, varying in intensity throughout the day until I can sleep, hoping that the following morning will be better. Yesterday was one of those days. Today was better, though still not great. Hopefully tomorrow…