Last night, I fought for hours against my mind as it tried to take over my body. I fought as it tried to make me reach for the knife in my drawer and create cruel, burning art on my skin. I knew if I gave in, the darkness would subside for a moment, but I also knew the art would remain. Last night, I won the fight, but it isn’t always so.
This morning, like all mornings after an ‘episode’, I got up, put on a smile as if I hadn’t a care in the world and went about my daily business. No one around me knows of my fights, no one knows I sleep less and less each night as I distract myself with music and movies, trying in vain to finally have a good night’s sleep. If anyone asks, although they rarely do, I tell them I’m fine, that I’m tired, or just having a bad week. Almost no one knows what I’m going through, or just how bad it can get.
The thing is, I’ve never said the words “I’m depressed” or anything like them. I’ve never really been able to admit it to anyone. It’s like I’ve been stabbed and I’m trying to put a Band-Aid on it and pretend it doesn’t hurt. I’ve never told a doctor about it, I’ve never mentioned it to the people I’m around every day, always hiding it behind a smile and digging it so far inside myself that even I can sometimes forget about it. It’s the stigma I guess, and the shame. I run and I hide in my dark room and I wish it would all go away, and convince myself it has.
But it always comes back.
It comes back in the night after I’ve had a few drinks and my thoughts are wandering, or when I’m falling asleep and thinking back on the day, on the week, on the month that has been. I just feel like I’m floating on the thinnest of lines between sick and well, with even the slightest tremor able to push me down, down, down into the darkest reaches of my mind.
This sickness in my mind is poisoning my body and my soul.
I guess I wanted to write this to tell someone about what I’m going through, to tell people that they’re not alone in their struggles, to put into words what’s been buzzing around my mind for so many months. Since I wrote this story, I have spoken to people, I have found help and told my story to at least a few people who are there for me. It’s been a rough time, and I know it will continue to be, but at least I know that I’ve found a way of helping myself, and found others who will help me.
Please, please, if you need it, find that help. You are more important to the people who love you than you could possibly imagine.
Photo by Edward Honaker