So most of you will know that I was in a abusive relationship in the past, and I sort of touched on the subject here, but today I wanted to talk about something that linked into that time too. It's taken me a long time to write this up and even longer to have the courage to post it. I just wanted other people to understand when it's really like to have depression because I feel like there's still a huge stigma around mental health.
To be depressed is not to just 'be sad'. It's so much more and so much worse than that. You know that scene in Twilight New Moon where Edward has left Bella, she's been rescued from the woods and is just sat in her bedroom window as the months roll past, that's what I would describe depression to be like. The months go past without you even realising it and you act and look like a zombie. There's just no state of time other than just being. I had depression when the film came out in 2009, and I related to how Bella was feeling in that moment when the camera pans around her counting away the months.
I was in a state of nothingness and although my body was there in the present, my mind was lost. I was like a robot, I did normal things on the outside but inside I felt like I was all alone.
Inside my mind, it was like looking at the world through a dark filter. I couldn't see the silver lining in anything and even things that used to bring me joy brought sadness instead. |I'd plaster a smile on and take part in the everyday activities but I couldn't shake the monster off me.
Using another Twilight example, depression was like when the venom was coursing through Bella's veins and inside she'd be screaming in pain, but on the outside she looked fine. Depression was like the venom, slowly taking over every part of my body until everything turned black. It was slow at first and I'd put it to the back of my mind, until it hit me like a big yellow school bus hitting Regina George (Mean Girls). Everything was black and all the light in my soul had been swallowed up by this blackness. I couldn't shake it off, and in the end I just let it take over.
I couldn't feel anything anymore. I was like a robot - emotions just weren't inside me anymore and I had to fake a smile all the time. I hurt myself a lot just to feel something, even if that something was pain. When I hurt myself I felt a sort of relief. I was relieved that I could still feel and it was a way for me to know that I was still alive.
I knew I had depression, but it was like I was two people. There was the dark monster of depression side of me, and then there was the carefree side of me that was trapped inside. I didn't even try to fight it at first. I let it take over and soon enough the carefree me was just a faded memory of my former self.
I used to do things for attention just to feel like someone cared about me. I said things that I wouldn't dream of saying now. I did things that would scare me now, I pushed all my limits just to see how far I could go. Looking back I don't even know why. I look back on my former self and I don't even recognise the person I was. I try to remember things that I did in that time, and for the most part I can't remember. It's like my mind has shut off that time in my life, as if it's a way of me coping. What I do remember though is that I would just sit and stare for hours at a time and it would feel like no time had passed at all. I'd sleep a lot too, just to get through the day. What's the scariest is that I became so used to this state of mind that I started to feel comfortable. I found comfort in the darkness of my mind.
I lived in this zombie like state for a year before I found any sort of light. When I had William my former self reared its head and I knew that I had to fight this demon. But by this time the demon was too strong and I fought it for almost another year before I was rid of that damaging relationship that I was in. It wasn't so much of a relationship at that point and I'm ashamed to admit that I let him control me for so long but when you're in an abusive relationship it's hard to get out. The more I wanted to the more I became scared. It was a vicious circle, and combining that with depression it was the worst time in my life. Once I was out I went back to college to try and get my life back on track for William. That's where I met Mike, and he was like the sun on the cloudest day of the year. It was like looking at sun and feeling the warmth spread through my body. He was warm and loving and he melted away the darkness inside me. I was lost before I met Mike and he put me back on the right tracks. I don't tell him enough how much I appreciate him and how much I love him. He saved me.
Looking back at that time in my life, I didn't feel like there was an end to any of it. I felt like that was it. That's what life was going to be like. The world was so dark that I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel. But let me tell you this: there is a light. Keep heading forward and you'll get there. It's a tough journey, and you'll want to give up at times but I promise you that it gets better.