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Happiness Held Captive

Updated on February 5, 2012

Where does one start to tell about depression,whether it be manic or bipolar or any other mental disorder? There are so many things the same in each depressed person and many things so very different. Your surroundings or personality can dictate to you how you will react to depression. These things most people know already. Those that don't, do now.

My reason for writing today was brought about by some alone time I had last night. Alone time is a two edged sword for me. One side cuts away at the issues I carry with me daily while the other edge slices deep inside and leaves my soul bleeding. I was thinking last night about what it really means to be bipolar or manic. What truly separates and defines a person filled with such a crippling disorder. There are many distinguishing products of depression. To accent the differences between "Being down" and real depression, I thought about how I feel inside.

Everyone has their bad day. There are few people in this world that at one time or another have not felt beaten or sad. What makes my down any different from anyone elses? Reasons for feeling depressed don't always show the depth of depression. Let us look at different lifestyles that may open your thoughts a bit more as to why someone like me deals so much harder with depression.

A family or single person, living in an oppressed environment, surrounded by poverty and violence gives way to depression. Someone living with the loss of a loved one or suddenly finding themselves un-employed for what-ever reason surely has cause to be depressed. A man invest his life savings and loses it all is just another reason to be depressed. I am not stereo-typing in any way. People set in these circumstances are not pre-destined to be depressed. There are some very strong people that find ways to rise above it all and be happy. I am truly awed at them and respect them greatly. My point was merely showing reasons for being "down."

Enter the "Other" side of that scenario, now. A man, living a good life, surrounded by loved ones and in a home filled with happiness has little reason to be depressed. More blessed than any man ever deserved, I have anything a man could desire. Blessed with a good income and a home and food and laughter and warmth, I should be the very farthest thing from depression. People yearn and work the butts off to have the life that I live. Now, see how depression is truly defined and how it takes my happiness and holds it captive inside of me. The depression sits, silently watching, sometimes, even allowing me to forget it is there. Reaching highs so fabulous that I KNOW I can conquer the world. Excitement that causes my whole body to shudder with delight and the feeling of total euphonium. This man is depressed??? Really???

I smile at the leaves blowing or the squirrels eating from my feeder. I raise my face to the sky and allow snow-flakes to land on my face and tongue and smile as the coldness reaches my mouth. My laughter can be heard through out the house but unseen by anyone, my mind begins to slowly steal away the smiles and remind me that depression was just beneath the surfaces, waiting to extingiush my happiness. It quietly emerges while I fight to keep it buried inside. Tears replace the smile and thoughts of all I have done in my life-time take over the warm thoughts that had only seconds ago been mine to enjoy.

It isn't the one that has reason to be sad or feel secluded from the world that truly defines depression. The person that has No reason to be depressed and yet is beaten down to the darkest places a man could go, thoughts that are so strong they scare the inflicted... these are the ones that make depression truly the horrifying disorder that it is. I wonder often why it is here and why it is so strong. There are those of you that Know exactly where I am in this battle. You understand and fight the same fight as me. I included a picture of the mind with and without depression simply to show those that believe it is something that is caused by a person being weak or "drama." Medical proof that there are issues of the mind that some of us can NOT simply "rise above."

I do not live daily nor do I live in a world that sees no depression. I do not face my day to day issues but rather fight demons that are from long ago. I can not exist in your world so to love me, sadly, you must live in mine. My world is filled with warmth and joy and accomplishments, published author of 6 books that sit and remind me of what I have NOT achieved, all of the elements of a happy, content life. I hide the sadness and the desire to cry because your world doesn't understand. "Move on," "get over it," "get past it" are words from your world, not mine. depression and bipolar live in my world, waiting patiently to destroy any smiles I try to hold on to. For reasons even I do not know nor understand, happiness is stolen from me and held captive inside, allowed to surface only long enough to allow the people around me to believe that all is well in my world.

Depression, on any level, is a terrible place to dwell. Take it to the extreme and it becomes frightenly real. The abilty to chip away at all that is good and to deminish the idea of accomplishing so much in my life-time is depression at it's best. Many will say seek help and I do. Some will say it is all in my head and they are more right than they could know. Holding on tight to those that love me and writing each day are my safe places. Alone, is a very unpleasant place for me and yet, I search for it and yearn for it. the depth of my depression, when it is at it's worst is more than I can or will convey to you. Things left unsaid in an abstract world, are issues best kept locked inside of my mind and my heart.

This... is depression and it can do damage beyond what the every day mind could ever conceive. My happiness is held captive and ... am a prisoner of my own mind.


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    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Jade, thank you for your wonderful response. So many people fail to see the depth of a single day in this world. to step into it would be fatal for most but as you say, we know ourselves and the self awareness that we will have highs again as sure as we will have lows keeps us moving.

      I am not medicated though my extremely watchful doctor of 20 years and my therapist would have it differently if they could, I am one of the inflicted that see meds as poison or acid. Life for me is no worse than it is for you because of it but from time to time, I have entertained meds. Perhaps one day... who knows.

      As for our "not good days" those that truly love us and live with us are good to know what we mean without explanation. I have so often said it is shame we dont come with traffic lights of red green and yellow. At least then they might have a little warning if it is a good day to hug or not. that only works of course on the days that we are not totally abstract. Those days are the tough ones for loved ones. "Why arent you hugging me" and at the same time "If you even hug me. I'll scream but DAMN YOU, you should have tried!" Yeah, those are the days that I am sorry someone took the time to fall in love with me and extremely thankful that they did.

      I do thank you for writing and reading this. All of my very best to you. Always, Darrel

    • JadeFitz profile image


      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Very insightful and I completely understand. I suffer the same way. Unfortunately, there is no way to fix it. I have suffered during the bad times in my life and during some of the best times. Trying to explain it someone is sometimes impossible. Explaining why there are days when you consider ending your life several times throughout the day and then a week later you can go out with friends and party like you haven't a care in the world. It is very crippling to your whole existence. There are days I just tell my husband, "Today is not a good day." The only way I cope with it, is therapy, meds, and self knowledge/self awareness. I truly believe that self knowledge/awareness is the only way to get through it most times. When I just want to put a gun in my mouth and end it all I have to repeat over and over to myself, "You're just having a bad day. You'll be better in a couple of days." Of course, if your meds are not working for you then it can seem as if there is no hope. I feel your pain but you just have to keep going and if your mood swings are too extreme then you need to reassess your meds. Diabetics have to take insulin shots to keep their sugar levels consistent. We have to take medicine to keep the levels in our brain consistent. Knowing that it is never going to go away is probably the hardest thing to come to terms with. I have managed to find the right meds after years of switching around and the days that I can't stand to be me I just have to focus on the fact that it will be OK soon and keep repeating it to myself. Best Wishes.

    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Thank you curiad for reading this. I appreciate it greatly.

    • Dday50627 profile imageAUTHOR

      Darrel Day 

      6 years ago from Iowa

      Lisa... Thank you for reading this and for your open comment. To try and tell someone how to fix it would be a sham from me. I have not found that answer myself and to tell you the truth, I don't know that I go looking that hard. As scary as life with depression and bipolar is, I am not sure that who i would become to rid myself of it would be less frightening. I think that perhaps you understand that statement. I hope that you do pass this along as we have been told long enough "what it is and how to fix it." Sometimes, we just want to know that we are not alone. Thank you again for your time... Always, Darrel

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 

      6 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      This is a truly insightful article.I thank you for sharing it.

    • profile image 

      6 years ago

      I also suffer depression and am bi-polar. This is a great hub. Not the normal what it is and and how to fix it. Just a article on how it effects you. This is what many people are looking for if they really want to know what is going on in someone's mind suffering depression. Thank you. I will be passing this along.


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