I was never the person who enjoyed being sad, or alone. I enjoy nothing more than noise, laughter, crowds, lights, nights, pictures, everything that makes me feel alive.
My depression attacks are never welcomed. I mean, who would welcome depression, right?
But to me, it’s not just the hollow sadness that bothers me. Depression strips me off my entire identity. It pushes me into panic mode, because I really want to be me, but I can’t. My head won’t allow me. All I can think of is how much I want to laugh. My head becomes my own enemy, locking me up in an imaginary cage that I created for my own self.
For 18 years, depression has been the ugly, uninvited guest in my life. Walking in and out as it pleases, never knocking.
My lively soul shifts from wanting everything that’s loud and bright, to not wanting anything at all. To not wanting to wake up the next morning.
It kills me.
There’s nothing poetic about depression. There’s nothing romantic. It’s brutal. The pain is excruciating. The lack of control is unexplainable.
Depression is a real enemy. Except, there’s no easy way to defeat it because it’s a part of who you are. To fight yourself, is an excruciating battle, mixed with confusion and self-loathing.
Depression is life-threatening. Except, you’re the threat. You’re a threat and you can’t control it. The guilt trips are unbearable.
Depression is lonely. No one who hasn’t been through it can ever fully understand the struggle. You go back home, you hang up your phone, you go back to you room, and it’s you vs yourself one more time, behind a closed door.
But let me also tell you that, for 18 years, I’ve survived every single round. I’ve fought back. I got lucky. I won every single time, so far. I intend to keep doing so, for as long as life allows me to. I don’t want to lose.
My uninvited guest doesn’t visit me as much anymore. We’re finally breaking ties, slowly. I’ve never been more grateful for anything in my life.
Love carried me through it all. It still does. The people I love, the ones I’d die for, stand between me and every ugly decision I want to make so bad. They make me want to fight, so I can stick around, and be myself, for them, and for me.
I’ve been cursed with depression, and I’ve spent so many years thinking I was flawed, broken. But, I’m finally blessed with the clarity to recognize the unconditional love being offered to me, accept it, and allow it to save my life, over and over. Finding love in the darkest of times, seeing God in the dimmest of moments. Watching his grace save me, change me, and pull me out, time after time.
My on/off depression has taught me to count my blessings, and love everyone a little extra on their bad days. To appreciate the ups, and brace myself for the downs. While it’s forcing me to keep my guard up all the time, it’s also allowing me to try to make the best of every good moment. Always.