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Depression Is Just Such An Enormous Pain In The Feels

Updated on March 24, 2015

The Big. The Beautiful. The Scary.

The world. It's a place that can be beautiful. So beautiful that it hurts. The green leaves swaying in the breeze against a sky that's so blue you just would love to swim in it. Swim and swim until the shore is gone and all that's left is that endless abyss of calm.

The calm. That's the goal, isn't it? The cheese at the end of the maze. The calm. The okayness. The finish line that brings not cheers and applause and confetti, but silence and peace and the knowledge that everything is okay. That everything was always okay. That everything will always be okay.

The world isn't like that, though. The endless sky isn't even really blue or endless and there's always something in the way. Slashing into it. Blocking out it's promise of calm. Towers of cement and metal and glass. Plumes of pollution from factories filled with hopelessness. Bridges spanning waters filled with garbage and debris that once served a pointless purpose. And all of this is screaming and demanding and clawing at the peace. Tearing it apart and leaving just this blackness where there should be blue. This anxiety and anger and fear when there should at least just be okay.

All I ever want is that okay.

The Burden

I carry around this heaviness. It's exhausting. It's saddening. It's maddening. It's this ugly, horrible thing. I hate it. I feel sucked away by it. It's like a parasite that just won't leave. It just keeps sucking, burrowing, eating. Eating me alive as I try to fight. Try to fend it off with medication that promises peace. But still it's there.

This ugly misshapen thing. This gift from a past that was not my doing. This gift wrapped in black paper, dripping with hate and neglect and abuse. This gift of a childhood filled with sadness and loss and neglect and reproach. This childhood that told me I was not beautiful. I was not smart. I was not anything. I was a burden like my depression is to me. I was something to be used as a bargaining chip and then when that time was over, just to be cast away. I wasn't even worth the welfare check that was collected on me.

It was a life of broken promises and questions I couldn't even understand as they formed in my mind. Why? Why was it like that for me, but not for others? The children I saw on t.v. or at school. So happy. So loved. With rooms filled with pink and mothers and fathers who tucked them in at night. Who put band aids on their boo boos and who kept them safe. Children who belonged somewhere to someones. Children with futures that were important to their grown ups. Futures filled with endless possibilities to parents who cared about that. Parents who didn't just regard their child as a paycheck, but instead as a treasure. A special thing. An IMPORTANT thing.

My Own Worst Enemy

My days aren't always like drowning. Often they are beautiful and amazing and fantastic. Often the sky is just a sky and the world is this peaceful place not so filled with metaphor. This quiet beautiful place that's come so far and grown so much. Like a seedling that rises through the burned out forest floor have I grown.

My life is precious and perfect and wondrous and I know that I am so very and truly and incredibly lucky. I am that tree whose roots are twisted deep into the blackest earth, but grew strong and tall, even though I'm broken at the same time. Even though my limbs bend and sometimes break, I hold on.

I know that I'm now my own worst enemy. My past is long ago and lost behind me. I'm the one that keeps the remnants packed away somewhere inside of me. I'm the one who drags them along like mementos from a world long dead. I am not that scared little girl any longer. I am not that hated thing that just exists for the money. I am not that burden that was tolerated or sent away. I am not. And yet, I cannot let myself let it all go. No matter how hard I try, I cannot dig it out of me. It is a cancer and sometimes I fear it is killing me.

Growing inside of me the more I try to fight it. Hurting me the more I try to dig it out. And sometimes it scares me that it might win. That it might actually win. What is its goal if not to finally drive me beyond that point where coming back from is an impossibility? And when mine is to just be okay? What is it's cheese at the end of the maze if not my very life itself? The ultimate prize. The ultimate sacrifice.

Depression: The Act Of Pretending That Everything Is Okay

What is depression? This thick darkness that overtakes you. This demon that invades you. This microscopic parasite that manipulates you and forces you to drown in your own worst feelings as it makes you a genius at acting like it's all okay.

Sometimes it is okay. Sometimes it's more than okay. Sometimes it's just the best. But sometimes it's hard to tell when those times are real, even to the person feeling them. The desire for those times to be real, the fear that they aren't. The fear that everyone around you will be able to tell when they aren't.

There's nothing worse than the feeling that the people you love will understand the weight you carry and that they will then be infected by it. That the darkness is contagious. That because of you those you love will suffer. That because of you others will have their own darkness. That's the biggest fear. That's what keeps you smiling when you feel like everything is falling apart inside. When you feel like it's almost too heavy to keep going. When you feel like it's spread too far to continue. When you feel like just laying down and giving up and giving in.

The thought of your loved ones is what keeps you going. It's what keeps me going. Because without them I am nothing. Being nothing doesn't bother me. I'm used to that. I've been that almost since I was born. But they are everything. They are EVERYTHING. And they matter. They are important. They are loved. They are worth the world. They are worth dragging the weight for however far it needs to be dragged.

But sometimes it's so hard.

Always Keep Fighting

Always. Always. Always. Just keep fighting. Depression is hard. It sucks. It is this huge monster that sometimes seems too big and scary to be defeated, but keep trying. Reach out to others. Tell them how you feel. It's okay. It's good. It helps.

Talk to your doctor. Email if it's too hard to talk. Trust someone with your secret heaviness. You don't have to carry it alone. It's really not contagious. The worst thing you can do as a person with depression is fight it on your own. The absolute worst thing that you can do as a person with depression is give up. Is to stop fighting.

I'm including in this article some links that can help you. Places that will help you get help. Because you can get help. There are places that will light the darkness for you. You ARE worth it. You ARE beautiful. You ARE important. I guarantee it. Your past does not define you. It really, really doesn't.

This video. This video says it all better than I ever could.

Do you matter?

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    • Angel Van Atta profile image

      Angel Van Atta 2 years ago from Delhi, California

      Larry, you're not alone. Trust me, I understand completely. And thank you. :)

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      When my depression gets bad it sometimes it just seems so hard to get back to happy.

      Wonderful article.

    • Angel Van Atta profile image

      Angel Van Atta 3 years ago from Delhi, California

      Any time, Robert. And I look forward to reading your work.

    • Robert Levine profile image

      Robert Levine 3 years ago from Brookline, Massachusetts

      Thanks, Angel.

    • Angel Van Atta profile image

      Angel Van Atta 3 years ago from Delhi, California

      Robert, I'm sending you positive vibes and thank you for the beautiful comment.

    • Robert Levine profile image

      Robert Levine 3 years ago from Brookline, Massachusetts

      As a fellow sufferer from depression who has been his own worst enemy too many times, I applaud this lyrical yet honest and unromanticized meditation on the condition.