It’s one of those mornings. You know, when you wake up feeling nothing but dread and emptiness. Like you can see your future and it doesn’t look bright. You know your happiness will never find you again, but you just don’t know why.
I wanted to talk about these sort of days while I’m actually feeling the weight of it. While the feeling is real and here, now.
I’m sure several of you have felt this at one point or another. It’s depression, sure, but what if your mind talks you into thinking it’s the world around you or it’s you that will never be happy? It’s a presence that you feel will always be there. A deeper meaning to the phrase, “all hope is lost”.
Do you ever feel like your hope isn’t just lost, it’s nonexistent? I can’t begin to describe how empty I feel when I get this way. No matter what you do, you just can’t fill that hole that’s eating away at your heart. You sit quietly at your dining table, alone, and just stare. You’re not crying, you’re not afraid, you’re just thinking. To someone who walks in and sees you, they think you’re calm and collected, but it’s the exact opposite. You’re not just thinking, your mind is at war with itself. The struggle to find positive reinforcement is buried under the smoke and dust that is depression. It seems like life is coming at you with everything. All the worry and anxiety is attacking you. You start thinking of your future and what may or may not happen. You may have your family relying on you, but you fear, more than anything, that you will let them down. Finances and health are adding more than their share of fuel to the fire. It’s so scary to think of what could happen later in life. It may be normal thoughts that seem solvable to everybody else, but you know it’s something important. You can’t just ignore the small things.
“What if I can’t pay a bill?”
“What if something happens to one of my children?”
“What if I were to lose everything?”
“What if my spouse is tired of me and wants to leave me?”
“What if everyone gives up on me because of my depression?”
What if, what if, what if? That’s all you’ll think about for the next few hours if you don’t do something about it. You know you have to do something. If you don’t, you’ll transform into an empty shell.
But, you still sit there. The next stage arrives. Your thoughts are jumbled and you can’t concentrate. You’ve already asked yourself all the “what ifs”, and now your mind is like a canvas with every color of the rainbow, splattered on its surface. You don’t even know if it’s negative or positive thoughts, it’s just random pictures and words, all hovering around. No thought is no more or no less important than the next, but you can’t just think of one thing. It’s becoming impossible to focus.
All while sitting at the table.
You still can’t smile, can’t cry. You can’t feel anything, but empty.
How long have you been sitting there? Has it been hours? Days? Only minutes, but it feels like forever. Your spouse walks by and asks if you’re okay.
“Yes, of course.” You smile as they walk out the door on their way to work. It’s such a false statement, but you can’t bring yourself to tell the truth. After all, you wouldn’t want to burden them.
As you watch them leave for work, you mentally scream for them to come back. “Please, don’t leave me in this state. Be with me, so I’m not alone.”
You want this feeling to go away. You try to tell yourself that it’s all in your head. It is in your head, but the impact it’s having on your body is very real.
Finally, you ask yourself: Why?
Why do you feel like this? Why is it you that must pause your life just to sit at your table and think? Why do you have to worry? Why is your mind so messed up and so helpless that you mentally beg someone to save you?
There are no answers. No one is there to tell you you’re okay. No one is there to answer your questions. No one is with you, but you.
So, you cry. You finally let the tears out. You cry because you’re alone. You cry because you’re so tired. You’re tired of feeling drained, tired of the problems that you’re facing all at once, and tired of being tired.
Until the realization hits: You don’t even know why you’re feeling this way. There was never really any reason to feel alone, because your spouse was there. Your children are asleep. There was never a reason to worry about your future, because it hasn’t arrived yet. There was never a reason to feel discouraged, because you are the one telling yourself these things. You know everyone has worries, so was there ever a reason to think the world’s weight was on your shoulders?
Shame floods your mind. You wonder how you got this way. How did you become such a depressed and anxious person?
I’ll tell you, there are different reasons we become like this. It may have been a traumatic experience, or it may just be years of smaller instances that collect into a pool of emotions over time. I don’t know exactly why I became this way. Maybe it was suddenly settling down and taking responsibilities so young, maybe it was family problems that built up when I was a child. All I know is, the way I’m feeling is in the now and not in the past.
I know that once I accept myself and my feelings, I’ll feel better. I know that if I just push myself a little farther, my hope will return.
I still have so much to work on, though. It will definitely take time to overcome my own mind.
I just wanted to write through what I was feeling today. I have no earthly idea why I woke up with these feelings and thoughts. Depression is a heck of a disorder, I guess. We just have to remember to take it one day at a time.
Until you can leave the dining room table.