A photo outside my house. I always feel the need to find light when my world feels dark.

I’m feeling a certain kind of darkness today. I can tell that an old friend has returned to visit.

Depression.

I can tell my depression is visiting because of the following:

I’m Irritable

It’s the kind of irritable that makes me like Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde. I am cranky, cantankerous, and honestly, I’m kind of a jackass. I hate this about myself and if I could remove any characteristic of my Bipolar Disorder, it would be this one. But, I also know that it will pass. It always does, sadly, often damaging those closest to me along the way. But they forgive and I must forgive myself while striving to be better and do better.

I’m Lonely but Don’t Want to Be Around Anyone

Can anyone relate to this? You are soul-crushingly lonely but the thought of being around someone else, or worst yet, other people seems exhausting, frightening, and even a bit absurd. You just know you cannot deal with people right now. I definitely get like that when I’m depressed which, as you can imagine, affects many areas of my life.

I’m Brooding and Sad

It’s as if I am trapped in a cave of thoughts and cannot work my way out. It’s like being shackled to a wall, in a prison, where escape is impossible. It’s disheartening, discouraging, and robs you of every ounce of hope. Well, it tries to. I always have hope and always will. As my pastor says, “The worst thing is never the last” and I’ll always have hope even when it feels a million miles away!

I Feel like I Have Chains and Weights Around My Body

It’s like every move I make is extra slow and as if my world is moving in slow motion, yet, every single time I notice a clock, I feel guilty because more time has slipped by. I feel like it’s another day lost to darkness.

I Am Sexually Charged and Thirsty

Yup. I own it and it sucks!  I’ve come to realize that even a hint of emotional connection (or physical) leaves me feeling energized and confident. However, I also realize how toxic this is and that no one person can save another. I can receive support, yes, but to look for someone to meet a need that can only be met by myself is unwise and, worse yet, unfair to the other person.

I See My Past, Present, and Future as Bleak and While Viewing Myself as a Total Failure

Now, this is unfounded and not the truth, but it’s still what I am feeling and thinking. Mindfulness and awareness have helped me become aware of this because I can repeat the mantra “a feeling is just a feeling” and “a thought is just a thought”. These words remind me that thoughts and feelings are not always true.

I Am Eating Pizza, Carbs, Dairy Products, and Sugar like It’s My Job

Seriously, my eating has been awful and I can feel repercussions in my body and mind. Too many carbs have left me feeling sluggish, unable to move, and heavy while sugar has left me with brain fog, agitation, and a craving for more and more unhealthy substances.

I Haven’t Left the House for About a Week

I can’t drive so I’ll give myself a bit of an out but I’ve turned down 4 different invitations to leave citing a random illness or offering an acceptable excuse. Honestly, I just didn’t want to walk out the door because I felt exhausted just considering it.

 I Have a Very Strong Desire to Create Something

It’s probably why I’m writing this blog post.  Creativity helps me be honest with myself and others through exploration and expression. I want to remove the mask, drop the act, and show other people that it’s OK to be real about where you are, to ask for help, and to admit that those smiles on Facebook, Instagram, or in the mirror may be less than real.

I’m Reminding Myself That It’s Ok to Not Be Ok

It’s OK to go through some dark times but it’s best to be aware of the darkness when it comes and how to deal with it.

The most important thing is you always want to know when to ask for help.

You may think it’s weak to ask for help and say “I can do this all by myself” but real strength says “I cannot do this alone. I need help.”

Depression will try to get you alone and slowly move you further into darkness and away from the light of love.

Depression Will Try to Isolate You and Cut You off from Love

Depression will come and try to move you into isolation (both socially and emotionally) and get you to cut off all contact with the people who love and care about you.

It will lie to you and tell you that the world would better off without you, but the truth is: the world needs you.

We need your voice, your hope, your story, and your life.

We need to hear that, you too, are wrestling, fighting, and winning (and sometimes losing) with your mental illness.

We need to hear about your setbacks, disappointments, and experiences not to victimize you and draw pity but to encourage others to come out of their own darkness of depression and isolation and embrace the light of love, healing, and wholeness.

To summarize, we need each other and we need YOU!

Depression Will Lie to You

Depression will tell you:

  • You don’t matter
  • Nobody cares about you
  • No one will ever love you
  • You’ll always be a failure
  • You need to give up and stop trying
  • You and your life are mistakes
  • You are worthless

The list could go on.

Don’t let your truth be made up of lies in disguise.

Depression is the king of lies and masks itself as truth.

Don’t succumb to the lies no matter how real they feel.

Your life has value. We all matter to someone even when depression tells us we matter to no one.

Please Share and Help Encourage Others in the Darkness

In closing, if any of what I’ve written has been relatable to you or someone you know, please share it. It’s been my way of being honest about my journey and, hopefully, encouraging you to be more open and honest about yours.

This is not a desire for numbers, hits, stats, or anything to do with me. It’s a desire to offer someone the hope that comes with knowing that you are not alone in a battle that many cannot see but know is all too real.

I ask you to do this because if I can share my perspectives and thoughts from inside my darkness then maybe, just maybe, someone will be moved to do the same.

When We Break Our Silence, We Break Our Isolation

Depression says you’re alone and I’m here to remind you:

You are never alone.

 

Be well and keep fighting friends,

D6