I suffer from depression. I know how frustrating it is when you are constantly being told to just think positive, eat right, exercise more, and surround yourself with optimistic people. Everyone that said that to me has the best intentions at heart. They wanted to help me, but they didn’t know how it is and that saying the things I already knew were not helping me at all.
I was always an active, cheerful lady. I was always smiling, and often my laughter was so infectious that people would start laughing with me. I always believed in the good in people and was finding beauty in the littlest things. However, my bubbly personality got dimmed because I was battling with depression that happened from time to time but it was getting a hold on me every time.
The term for my condition was a recurrent depressive disorder, and when someone suffers from it, the first important thing is to understand the triggers which are unique for every person.
As for me, my triggers were usually cold, rainy days that caused feelings of sadness and loss in my heart. Also, my estranged relationship with my father made me insecure around others which made me distance myself and isolate for everything which further triggered my depression. Plus, depression runs in my family, on my mother side. I can still remember my mother not being able to get out of bed for days while I was growing up. I never wanted to be like her, but somehow, I am.
There are times when I feel like something gets inside me and invades my whole being. I become anxious and afraid of everything. I just want to lock myself in my bedroom and never leave the room. I lose all the happiness in me. I struggle to get out of bed and head to work and when I come home, I immediately go to sleep, isolating myself from everyone and everything.
I hate this. I hate not having control over my life and losing people that matter the most to me.
Because how can others understand what I was going through? How can they empathize with me over something they have never experienced?
Therefore, I made up a story so that I could help them understand me. And here is the story…
“Imagine if the floors in your home are covered with amazingly beautiful carpets. When you walk over them, you feel great. You get to know every single imperfection they have and still love them.
However, there is a trick. Sometimes there are energies inside your house that can dig a big hole in which you can easily fall. The hole is hidden behind the carpets and you can’t see it. So, when you are freely walking around your hole, you will eventually fall. And when you do fall, all the terrible feelings of failure, shame, guilt, and fear will emerge making it extremely hard for you to get out.
Then, imagine how you would feel knowing that you can’t move out of it since it’s your home. You have nowhere else to go. You also can’t throw out the carpets since they came with your house. You’ll start living in constant fear and caution of falling again into the hole.
You know that you’ll eventually get out because you always do, but you also know that you’ll fall again because those struggles and pitfalls are not in your control.”
This is how I feel, and I suppose this is how many others who suffer from recurrent depression feel. They just learn to live with their condition.
If you love someone who experiences this kind of depression you can help them by doing your best to just listen to them and try to understand them. You can help them by not judging them and supporting them through their depressive episodes.
And be kind and loving. Always.