Depression can defined as feelings of severe despondency and rejection. But what does that mean? What does depression look like? I would say it is personal for everyone or anyone who has ever had the unfortunate opportunity to meet it. For me, depression means, “No.” Do I feel like talking, No. Do I feel like smiling or laughing, No. Do I want to sing or dance, No. Do I feel like myself, No. Do I want to cry, No. But I probably will. It means a feeling of numbness and disconnection will envelope me. It means that I will want to be held but not comforted because there is no comfort. There is no comfort for a sadness that runs to your core. It means that I will be ambushed by memories long shoved down. Which explains the tears.
What does it look like? Rain. Cloudy and gloomy. It looks like being surrounded by loved ones and feeling completely alone. Its like going out with your girlfriends. You dance, smile, you think you have a good time. Then you come home, and moments after your hand reaches to lock the door behind you, you crumble to the floor in anguish. Its finding the love of your life and still having moments of profound despair. It looks like isolation. Holding yourself hostage from the outside world.
That’s not even the worst part. Depression is a stalker. It can sneak up on you. Sometimes there are little warning signs, to alert you to its presence. While other times it just stops you in your tracks. It always seems to know where to find you. It always seems to have your name on its list. Its like a shadow.
It’s funny the worst things I hear in my head when I am at my lowest is everyone saying, you are so strong. You don’t need help. You don’t need encouragement. You are the one who helps. You are the strength we count on. You are the one who provides for us. Why does it seem like, people don’t see me? Perhaps I wear my mask that well. Perhaps they see what they want to see. Perhaps this is just a journey I have to take alone. I heard in a movie recently that, “the broken are the more evolved.” Perhaps this is our burden.
Does our evolution makes it possible for us to withstand these bouts? I would argue that although our evolution may make us appear strong, our biology is weakened. We are still human, still susceptible to the stalker. I would argue to focus on our evolution would be a mistake. We are broken. And as with anything that is broken, the focus should be on its repair.