It’s 9am. I’ve been lying in bed since I woke up at 7:15 and couldn’t fall asleep, but couldn’t rationalize getting up. Nothing is going on today, why should I get out of bed?
Depression is a sneaky bastard. One day you’ll be totally fine. Things aren’t amazing, but nothing is really going wrong, so you’re okay. And then everyday starts being like that; not great, but not bad. This slowly evolves into having bad days and not-as-bad days, and eventually you find yourself just trying to survive each day because everyday is bad and it never gets any better.
But you still don’t even realize that you don’t have any good days anymore until suddenly 3 months have gone by and you’ve been miserable that entire time. And that’s it: rock bottom. Everything is exhausting. Motivation is unheard of. The things you used to enjoy doing don’t sound appealing at all. Every morning is spent staring into space for several hours until the motivation to do anything, even clean up from breakfast, comes around.
The truth is, I had a really hard time accepting the fact that I had slumped back into my depression. I didn’t feel sad, or down or suicidal or anything I normally feel when I’m depressed. But that’s the thing about depression, sometimes it makes you feel nothing at all. I thought I was just having social anxiety as a result of medication withdrawal, but it turns out, I just don’t even want to be around people because I’d rather be in my bed with a bottle of wine watching Netflix. I thought my lack of energy was also from medication withdrawal. But that’s the other thing about depression, it’s not just an emotional state. Depression consumes every physical and mental part of your existence until you are an empty shell of yourself.
My therapist calls this type of depression “anhedonia.” Basically, it’s the inability to feel pleasure. It’s just a fancy word for complete apathy towards life. There are things I should be happy about right now (which is why I hate the word “should”), like D is graduating on Friday and I should be happy for him, but I can’t. Seeing all the college kids this week killing themselves with schoolwork to get through finals makes me really sad. By the end of the week, all of them will have a sense of accomplishment and relief and gratitude that summer is finally here. As for me, by the end of the week, nothing will change. I’ll still be here. I want to be happy for them, I really do, but I can’t. It only reminds me of how little I’m currently doing with my life, and queue my spiraling downward into further depression.
It’s not easy to be in, and it’s even harder to get out of because there’s no magical cure or treatment. It makes me constantly ask myself, “what do I need that I’m not getting?” I try to think about the person I was when I wasn’t depressed: creative, active, and I had a sense of purpose. Now? I try to draw just to get out of my head, but it takes so much energy. Trying to do anything except binge on Netflix and lie in bed takes an enormous amount of effort, but that’s the price of trying to heal myself.
I’ve spent 3 days trying to finish this post. I give up.