I am an emotive person. Sort of. I’m guarded and usually unwilling to truly share who I am with people. But when I’m upset or in some sort of heightened emotional state (happy or sad) I need to express it. Whether that be blogging or talking to my husband.
I have always assumed I am like that because I have Bipolar Disorder Type 2. And while I have been lucky in that I am able to ride a hypomanic state for extended periods of time, sometimes even years, it is still something I struggle with and have to be medically treated for.
I am unable to take most psych medications due to my medication allergies and sensitivities. This means that I am usually unmedicated, which complicates many aspects of treating this disorder.
It also means that in times of depression, the hole I get stuck in is so deep that I usually can’t even see a way to climb up and out of it. It feels like standing at the bottom of an empty well. The walls are too slick to climb and it’s so deep that I can’t even see the light from the opening anymore.
It means that I lie in bed imagining myself at the bottom of a dug grave in the rain. I am climbing and pushing and trying but the water is filling the hole and making the dirt too soft to hold onto and the sides just crumble under my fingers. I want to get out, but I’m tired and cold and don’t have it in me to keep going. And my depression tells me to give up. I will never get out.
These are the times that are the most dangerous. These are the times my depression lies.
I lie at the bottom of my hole, surrounded by despair. I think of how worthless it is to try. I think of how unloved I am. I am alone, pathetic, not worthy. It whispers in my ear that I have no one.
Depression lies in the way that a lover who cheats on you does. It tells you want your sorrowful heart wants to believe. It whispers past hurts and anger into your ears until you can’t hear anything else. It makes you relive all of the negative experiences you’ve ever had. And your sadness wants to believe that no one loves you. It wants to believe the things that you are saying to yourself in the dark.
But it is not reality. It is an alternate state created by a chemical imbalance. It is an alternate, parallel universe where everything is exactly the same, except you. You have suddenly become melancholy and lonesome. You have become edgy and angry and heartbroken all at the same time. And you are unable to hear the words and contradictions those around you are yelling to you over the constant hiss of the negative thoughts streaming through your brain.
I wish it were as simple as all that. I wish a few kind words could fix the pain. The literal, physical pain in my chest. I can’t take a full breath. It feels as if I am being pushed flat and unable to resist. Like someone has places a large weight on my entire body and I am slowly compressing to nothing. And while I want to hear your words, all I can feel is pain stabbing my chest and the fact that I can’t catch my breath.
I imagine that if I could just get that grip on those slimy well walls, if I could just find a root to hold onto in that muddy grave, I could just lift myself out. I lay in bed, thinking about my hole, wishing, trying desperately to help myself out.
But depression lies. And it tells me that I can’t, I’m not strong enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m too tired and sore and should just lie down and give up. It says that this is not worth the energy because no one is waiting for me at the top. Nothing is there for me but more pain and sadness.
Eventually the rain stops and I climb out.
Eventually, I hear my husband calling down to me and the light and opening of the well becomes visible.
Eventually, the hiss of the constant stream of negative thoughts and past hurts becomes too quiet to hear.
Eventually, you find your way back to reality. And all you can do is be happy you did and hope that it never happens again, even if you know it will. And all you can do is hope that next time you remember that depression lies.