I am a happy person on default. I am an optimist and I take pride on this.
I have even received unsolicited comments that I am a strong person. When I look into people’s eyes, I see a goal-oriented woman who knows what she wants in life and how to get it.
But more than a year ago, I was a millisecond away from jumping from the wide-open window of my apartment in the fourth floor. I don’t know even until now if I would have died from that height, but I remember I badly wanted to.
I never understood depression until it hit me, until it became alive in me.
What I am about to tell now is my story of depression and I am not going to censor the thoughts inside the mind of a person experiencing depression. So I hope you, my reader, would be open-minded to understand that this is not a simple rant or a cry for pitiful attention.
I will try to tell this in the simplest manner I could, so as not to make you wonder or get confused. I will tell everything as it is. Skin and bones, flesh and blood—depression in the body of a woman.
Depression, from what I have learned by experience, operates stealthily. You never know when it is coming; you won’t even know that it’s right there at your doorstep.
It accumulates into your system slowly. They may come in bits of disappointments, in chunks of pain, in parcels and packages of stress, or in cargoes of bad experiences.
Depression is an overwhelming feeling of sadness which strangles you, suffocates you. It is an indescribable pain which rips your heart apart (sometimes, you can even feel this physically). You literally open your mouth to shout but there’s no voice which comes out.
You start with, “oh shit shit shit.”
Everything is shit.
Then you go, “fuck.”
“Fuck fuck fuck.”
Fuck this life. Fuck me. Fuck these people. Fuck this mind. Fuck the world. Fuck this shit.
Depression, in the long run, seemed to feel as normal as brushing my teeth. There are times when it doesn’t bother me to think that I should just get hit by a truck.
It almost became a morning routine to me to cry in the shower, and scream in my head, “Please. Stop. Ayoko na. Tigil na please.” But still, I would go to class and go on with my day. I would still try to laugh and talk to people.
You see, depression could either make you overly sensitive or indifferent. You won’t like mingling with people because they drain you—as if you even have anything left on your worn-out soul. But as frustrating as it could be, you still want to be with people—with someone to talk to, with someone to keep you company. You both want to walk this earth and yet, shut yourself off from this world.
My depression already have its first anniversary. I actually didn’t realize that it stayed. I thought it already left when I moved out to another city. But since I arrived at this new city, I noticed that I slept a lot. As in, a lot. I thought it was good. I thought my body just found out the rare opprotunity of having lots of time to replenish itself.
But in the long run, it soon became evident that I was in another bout of depression. The days went by and depression took its toll on me. One morning, I decided to skip an important morning class.
I strive to not have suicidal ideations as often (and morbid) as before. But on some days, the temptation of jumping from the window is enticing. But it never happened. I was too afraid to not die and have fractures instead. It would have meant another misery and I would probably be worse than what I am right now.
Another thing about depression is that it makes you a walking time-bomb. Oftentimes, feeling down just kicks in. One moment ago I was smiling all the way to my ears, because in fact, I was genuinely happy. But just a few moments later, I would feel extremely down. No triggers, no warnings. I would just feel down, then I would get anxious, only to end up in tears again—crying because of all these depressing thoughts, and crying because I do not even know why on earth I was suddenly feeling so down.
Then there are certain times when I can point out the triggering factors. In fact, I discovered one when I had my first anxiety attack. I had to skip a lecture because I was starting to hyperventilate. I went to our school clinic but the nurse was unfortunately not there. So I went to the library and tried to calm myself down. I was already breathing heavily, but the two students near me didnt even notice that there was something wrong with me. (Most people really do not care unless you probably collapse on the floor. I’m guilty of this too.)
If I had not learned in the past how to calm myself and my thoughts, I am sure I could have fainted that time in the library. Even as I reminisce it now, it still feels fresh and alive.
Now most people would say something like “You should get help.” But honestly, this is one of the last things I ever wanted to hear from people. I am not sure how people like me experiencing depression take it, but personally it feels like an insult to me. It makes me feel that I am helpless—more helpless. I sure know when I need help. It’s just most of the times, the people I turn to either fall in these categories:
- They comment that “it’s just all in your head/mind.”
- They give out solutions. (No no no, big NO! I am not looking for solutions.)
- They do not want the hassle of taking the time to support a person who is “weak-minded.”
- They simply do not understand what depression is all about, so they do all the talking. They do not listen on how I struggle to articulate what I am feeling or what’s in my mind. They analyze me and figure out things for me. But that’s not how depression works; that is not how you get out of the rut of depression.
So you see, I have talked to people. Tried for several times. I have sought help. Apparently, depression remains a misconception to the majority. Many people still do not recognize depression as something worthy of time and attention.
And yet, even with this roller-coaster ride called “depression”, I still pursue life. I still want to experience something better and different. I still expect things to change, regardless of how depression convinces me that it’s not ever going to happen.
I still get up and pull my own hope-deprived body, and tell myself, “Just one more day, just one more day.”
. . . . .
Part 2 will be up soon. I will be sharing there how I am coping up with depression so far. (Update: It’s already up! Click here!)
If upon reading this article makes you realize that you are experiencing depression, or you already know you are, please don’t hesitate to drop a mail on my blog (Click here!). I will be glad to support you, or answer any inquiries. I am in no way a professional counselor, but talking to someone experiencing the same thing as yours, is a good shot.
Do consider professional help. Also, there are crisis hotlines you can call in your community, don’t be afraid to call them up. I hope you don’t quit trying because there is always hope, even when you have to look for it a bit further or deeper.
If you know someone who is experiencing depression, you may share this article.
Thank you for your time!
Blessings and joy!