Monday, January 5, 2015

Writing With Depression

Most people wouldn’t think it, but the last few months I have been living in my own little circle of Hell. Not in the way that you would notice just by looking at me upon first glance, at least not right away. It happened in little strokes, little itches, little digs; festering like a scab that I couldn’t help but pick at unconsciously.

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with depression. But when you’re a that age, it’s a challenge to differentiate depression from teenage angst, so of course it got cast aside by both mine and my mother’s lack of acknowledgement for mental health. As I got older, the feelings didn’t disappear. In fact, they became something else. Like the scab, a series of unfortunate events shaped them into an incurable mark.

Depression is a hard thing to explain to people who don’t have it. In a way, I’m grateful for that. I wouldn’t wish the things I think and feel on anybody. The best examples I can give are provided by the talented Allie of Hyperbole and a Half, who authored Adventures in Depression Part One and Two. Additionally, Depression Quest is a scarily accurate depiction of what life is like living with this insidious disease.

But it doesn’t explain what life has been like for me personally. It doesn’t chronicle the aforementioned Hell that I’ve been living in, on repeat, for years if not my whole life. It’s different for everyone and yet it’s all the same — we’re living with monsters in our heads that are slowly trying to kill us. And for some, the monsters win. It’s a long and grueling battle, and one that no one should have to suffer alone.