The last week, I have not been myself. I’ve been depressed. I wouldn’t say I’ve been deeply depressed, but I would say it’s been close. I have not taken pleasure in anything I normally do. Reading, politics, writing and games have tasted like ash in the mouth. I’ve been distant from my partner in a way that worries me. My dreams have been… unusual, at least. I have not been myself at all. That is what depression does – it takes you and makes you into something you don’t recognize.
Coming Out of It
I think most people have heard such descriptions of depression. I believe that most people can understand what it feels like. At some point, everyone has felt low or unhappy. Life has a way of taking everyone to a dark place at least once if not more than once. Even if you’re a generally happy person and don’t get down for extended periods of time, the short spans and moments are enough to make you identify with those whose suffering is longer.
What is more difficult to explain is what it’s like to come out of a depression. The feeling of waking up is not comparable. There is no rested feeling to coming out of a depression. You have not been asleep. It is not like being in the dark. Even in the dark you can have a sense of direction, purpose or clarity. There is no rest or clarity or good aspects to being depressed. There is no pain, no feeling, no sensation. There is nothing.
Depression is like becoming a rock. You do not feel, you do not move, you do not exist. You have been totally erased. So what does coming out of that feel like? Perhaps it is like being struck by lightning. Every fiber, every nerve is energized to the point of expiring and then you realize you’re not dead. I think a better analogy is when you’re struggling with a problem in school. For me, it was math. I sucked at math. I could look at the problem on the page and nothing made sense. I was so dull at math that I was like a knife with no blade at all.
Then, all of a sudden, something made sense. It clicked, as we say. Then you start working furiously, going through all the steps, knowing that everything you’re doing is right. Then, with a sense of satisfaction, you’re done and you can put your pencil down and sit back feeling slightly worn out and accomplished.
Coming out of a depression is like that. Except you’re only sense of accomplishment is surviving non-existence.
I don’t know if I’ve completely finished my problem yet. I don’t have the full sense of survival yet. But I feel better. It’s still hard, but I have some feeling back. I’m surviving my recovery right now. As I write, I’ve got the USA World Cup game on. I’ve had a cup of coffee. The real Montel Williams followed me on Twitter (legit). And I’m hoping that today will be okay. I don’t expect great. Just okay.
One thing is for sure right now. I am not leaving this bed until this game is over.
Belgium just scored again. 2-0 Belgium. Maybe this game is over.
Maybe I should just go back to bed now.
Dammit, World Cup.
So much drama.
Update: Score now 2-1 Belgium. #keephopealive