Depression is not sadness. It’s deadness. It’s grief that took its running shoes off because depression is like arriving at the finishing line of a 40 km marathon on the hottest day of summer only to find the race doesn’t really end. When climbing out of bed is as exhausting a prospect as continuing to run with that fucking boulder on your back, the pain of existing becomes harder to tolerate than the pain of dying.
Depression is not sadness. It’s finally arriving at the end of your life only to find you have years still to go.
The worst of depression is not suffering: it’s numbness. Numbness will swallow your life and suck every enth of care from your bones because depression is not sadness. It’s existing as something dead, something inhuman, an object wounded. You know the distress is in there somewhere and you know that one day it will rise to the surface. On that day, you will wake up with a laceration in your chest and a knot of thatch in your gut and you will remember what life was like a second after it stopped being a life, just before feelings evaporated.
Depression is not a feeling. It’s a lie. It’s one side of a coin that forgot there was another because depression is like a bucket of black paint spilled over your world. Once it’s washed away, the truth begins to show itself. The ochre and cadmium and indigo return. The world comes back to life because depression is not an emotion. It’s a sickness that almost always has a cure.
That afternoon, at 15:05, I received a phone call.
That afternoon, at 15:07, I realised that I was skirting the edge of death.
That afternoon, at 15: 10, I realised I no longer knew how to exist.
That afternoon, at 15:30, I decided I was through with the black and the numb and the knot of thatch in my gut. I decided somebody, somewhere, could help wash it away.
That afternoon, at 15:45, I began to see the tiniest signs of ochre and cadmium and indigo returning because depression is not a feeling. It’s an illness that thrives on isolation.
That afternoon, at 16:03, I got help.
Depression is no longer a lie or the side of a coin. It’s not exhaustion or deadness or any damned thing because depression and I were done with one another at 15:05 in the afternoon when I received a phone call and became willing to let the isolation go.