Save Yourself

Depression isn’t real, but it’s real to those who are depressed.

 

“That sentence contradicts itself.”

 

No, it doesn’t.

 

Depression doesn’t exist in the physical world. You don’t “contract” depression from someone who is “sick” with it. It isn’t tangible – you can’t pick it up and hold it in your hand. You can’t physically feel depression on your skin. You can’t hand it to someone and say “here, now you’re depressed.” A doctor doesn’t take an X-Ray of your body and put it up on the light box and say “yup, there it is right there, depression.” It just doesn’t exist like this. So for most people who have never felt it, it truly doesn’t exist. Their world just does not accept depression as a real thing.

 

If you’ve never felt depressed – it is a feeling that you just cannot fathom. You understand what it is to feel sad, maybe even lonely. You could maybe even understand the idea of wanting to kill yourself because life just became too hard to handle. But this dark cloud that follows you around, that makes every day difficult, that makes even just getting out of bed a struggle, that makes simple, polite conversation uncomfortable, that makes you feel alone in a crowd of people, every crowd of people for that matter. It just doesn’t make sense. How could one be so “sad?” How is it possible?

 

But for those who feel it – those who are tormented by it every day – it is very real. It is a constant darkness lingering around you. You can see the light on the other side – you can almost touch it – but every time you get close, it seems to move further out of reach. You hurt so much mentally that it becomes physical pain and you can’t understand why. You coast through each and every day and just try to keep to yourself as to not burden the seemingly happier people around you. You just try to make it one more day, one more hour, one more minute. You push away dark thought after dark thought that tries to creep in and convince you that there’s only one way to make the pain stop. You try to convince yourself that this is only temporary. You try to convince yourself that the “only solution” is actually just a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Maybe you try to open up to someone and maybe they tell you it will all be okay and that you just have to hold on. Maybe they brush it off. Maybe they don’t take it seriously. Maybe they don’t understand or maybe they don’t want to understand. Maybe they believe you’re just “sad” and you’ll “get over it.” They will never fully understand unless they feel exactly what you feel – but that doesn’t mean give up. If they love you, they will listen. If they care, they will reach out.

 

Depression exists and it doesn’t exist.

To some, it is very real.

To others, it is made up.

But depression does not HAVE to exist for anyone.

 

Death is not the answer.

Death is NEVER the answer.

Death is permanent.

Depression is temporary.

Pain is temporary.

Storms are temporary.

Life is the answer.

Life is worth living.

Hope is all around.

There is always a blue sky somewhere.

 

The darkness doesn’t have to stay if you don’t want it to.

Stop waiting for this magical, mystical light to turn on.

Stop waiting for a guardian angel to swoop in and save you.

 

Turn on your own light.

 

Save yourself.

The Sky Can Exist Without the Cloud

“Depression is also smaller than you. Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but – if that is the metaphor – you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can’t exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.”

 

-Matt Haig “Reasons to Stay Alive”