I’ve felt so anxious I wanted to climb out of my own skin. I’ve lived through stretches of time where every day was grey. I’ve had times where I really wanted to hope for something but couldn’t come up with one single thing to hope for. There was a time when I was afraid to hope because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that the hope would be shattered somehow. The thought of suicide was weak, distant, but present.
I’m on the other side of all of that. Like childbirth, I can still recall the memory of the feeling. I know it was terrifying. I know it was the worst thing I have ever experienced—including childbirth, physical, verbal and mental abuse. Yes. It was that bad.
I used to live in fear of it returning. Like an abusive relative arriving unannounced, on your doorstep, lugging a shit storm of dread with him. Because it did return. Several times.
I got so sick and tired of depression’s nasty visits that I sucked up all of my courage and decided it was time to stop running and hiding in fear. I sat with depression face to face and listened. It did not take very long for me to realize that depression only had one card. He kept continually playing that one card, trying to make me believe it was a different card. Post-partum depression. Situational depression. Major depression. Anxiety. These were all the same card; False Belief. Every one of my depressions turned out to be based on thoughts—thoughts about myself, others and the world that were simply not true.
I trained like an athlete, getting myself physically ready, then I got in the ring with depression again and again. I acquired the skill of countering every one of his lies with the truth. He was sly and ruthless. He took my truths and twisted them. He not only exposed my weaknesses, he exploited them. When I finally stood firm on the fact that depression is a lying piece of uselessness and he could no longer use and abuse me, he faltered, then weakened, then eventually retreated. He’d call every now and again, just to see if he could pick a fight. He has quit calling. He doesn’t visit.
Depression is lying to you. Don’t believe it.