If December was a goddess, it would be my favorite muse. This is why I am writing this today, and this is why you are reading it. The cold of this month tickles my words and my fingers are eager to write them. To be honest, talking about depression was never an easy task; so forgive me if I stutter.
For years, I’ve been trying to find out where it comes from. Some say it’s a medical condition caused by an imbalance of natural chemicals in the brain. Sigmund Freud argues that it is the remains of a strong feeling of guilt, the result of buried emotions and childhood trauma or even, a conflict between the ego and the ID. And others, like me, simply can’t figure out the answer yet. What I am sure of is that it comes and goes like the motion of the waves, sometimes slow and placid, other times, turbulent and agitated.
On nights like this one, it is my only companion. It sways me into its arms and provokes my darkest thoughts. Whenever I open my eyes, I find it lying next to me, taking up most of my space, suffocating me with its weight. Whenever I close my eyes, it is still there, exploring my dreams, diving into my unconsciousness. Every time it is present, I feel like my existence is held by the throat. Breathing becomes so heavy as if the air is made of titanium. I get trapped inside of a loop and cannot find a way out. Although it goes away, I patiently wait for the day it will come back, as the brute that smother my reason, the ghost that climbs to my bed, the invisible fist that punches me at random hours. I count days and nights of abuse, which is to say that I am constantly carrying a luggage of aching dullness on my chest and I know that not everyone will understand.
You, who are reading this, have you ever felt so weak your legs couldn’t hold you? Have you ever felt your ribcage shrinking from your pain? Have you ever felt the devil slow dancing to the pace of your breathing? Tell me, have you ever thought of throwing yourself out of a ledge? Depression does that to you, it plays with the most sensible wires of your brain. It pulls you underneath a dark veil and drags your body to the floor. It sucks the will to live out of your soul and leaves you panting for air. You know, sometimes I get so numb I completely shut down. Everything in me stops functioning. I push people away and leave no room for them to be. I have learnt to stay silent until it became my own language. Words are so tangled beneath my tongue, they are never spelled. It all feels like God is playing chess inside of chest. Depression makes you open flesh and draw maps on your skin. It loops its hands around your neck, stabs you in the heart and pushes you in the asphyxiating arms of insanity.
What I’ve been telling you so far is nothing but a romanticized image of a starving beast. Unlike what many believe, depression is not a constant state of sadness. It is not beautiful girls, with short hair and round glasses. It is not a cup of black coffee and pack of Marlboro cigarettes. It is not an aesthetic. It is an illness. It blurs the sight and flirts with death. It opens your sides with the edges of its darkness. Sharing the same space with your depression is like sitting in a blazing fire, you wait until you eventually get burned. You try so hard to keep yourself composed to satisfy a bunch of societal constructs that care more about your manners than your well being; which is despicable. I think, it’s really sad how many young adults are struggling with something so destructive, yet is only seen as a teenage stereotype based on Lana Del Rey’s songs and Tumblr.
Trust me; it is not teenage angst or youth drama. It is a state of inexplicable damage. It is the feeling of your legs refusing to walk you anywhere; it is your body turning against itself. Depression is your mind devouring its wisdom. You turn to full on survival mode because you don’t want to go yet, because deep inside there is some sort of hope, some hand you’re holding on into. The truth is, we all have companions, some fantasize about how they would break our bones, others, remind us of our grace, our beauty and our strength. They either consume us or empower us… If you are still reading, let me confess this to you. I am lost inside of a labyrinth inside of my own mind, but I know I am not alone, for so many people are struggling and perhaps so are you. Let me remind you of this and keep these words locked in the brightest spot of your heart, you are not alone, and you are not dying, not yet, not now.