Depression and the mind | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 23, 2019

Depression and the mind

Wake up in the morning, get dressed, scarf down your breakfast, and get to work as fast as you can, only to rush back home hours later. Insert days of socialising here and there and that is what life has become.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this — love, loss, pain, and general disappointment, life changed a few times and a silent monster creeped in; one that just quietly sat in the corner of my mind observing my every move, capitalising on the smallest amount of pain felt and growing stronger and darker every day. I did not realise how or when we became familiars, but we just did one day.

Mornings are not the same anymore. Every day the same fight is waged.

Do I want to face the world today or not?

I am my weakest, at its mercy, wondering without a clue, when did this become my normal. This familiarity is always present, clinging, addictive, and toxic.

Weekends are worse. As it grows stronger and gains allies, my body and mind suffer more. Yet, I am still here, breathing, succumbing, and then again, not to these monsters. Questioning whether this fight is for my own salvation, or for someone else? I’m not sure.

Its blows are chaotic, drowning, leaving me barely breathing, but never delivering the final one that could end it all. Retreating back into the darkest corners of my mind until tomorrow, again because sufferance is a continuum.

No one knows, no one sees, so no one asks. Imprisoned by my own mind, how does one go about talking about this monster called depression, without having someone tell you to just go watch TV or something, and everything will be fine?

Dismissing it like it’s just a temporary thing.

How can I explain this has been my reality for the last three years?

“Are you crazy?” / “You don’t need therapy, that’s for people with severe mental issues”/ “You look fine and normal”/ “What about your parents? Shouldn’t you be thinking about their well-being and not such stupid things?”/ “Is everything okay with your boyfriend/husband?”/ “Did you get into a fight with someone at home?”

I can’t breathe, even when I try to show my sad face. All it ever does is create a shroud of more confusion and dejection. Tell me, when will this end and who will deliver me from this torment? I hide my sad face; I have trained myself to smile on the outside whilst everything within is absolutely ravaged by this monster.

I feel like self-harm and suicide are for the coward, for inflicting voluntary physical pain is less unbearable when I am already in the throes of melancholy. Or, perhaps just one more way to be noticed, for others to realise the severity of the plea when just talking doesn’t work. But even talking about it tugs on those strings of guilt. I do not want to burden, or even be one, to someone.

Feeling constantly belittled and every bad thought confirmed; this monster becomes stronger, and I, progressively joyless. Will I ever be able to tell my truth? Rare and unfound are the conversations free of judgement and overwhelming shame. No one believes it can happen to me, you, them or anyone.

But then, that one day something feels different.

A little peek of light, not a ray, that comes in the most unexpected of forms; a thought or memory of an individual; a companionship that doesn’t necessarily have to be of the romantic kind. I sense support which takes time to realise but when it does, realisation dawns that it is unadulterated, no conditions applied, just there and only for me.

Everyday doesn’t have to be the same anymore. One day at a time, I know now that little by little I can show my sad face. Someone will not reject or dismiss this monster. As it destroys through every corner of my mind, an inkling of hope lives. Enough for me to battle for. To be able to breathe, smile, laugh and also cry, but on my own accord. I need to survive and live because things won’t get better tomorrow but they will, slowly.

 

Photo: Collected

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