It's no secret that I have been a long term sufferer of depression. Starting in my early teens I have struggled with bouts of depression, sometimes lasting for months at a time. I have taken medications in the past to "help" but have found them to be worse than the depression itself.
Just when I thought I had maybe grown out of it, it sneaks back into my life. The recent death of my best friend I assume being the trigger.
I could feel it pulling me in to the black hole, the one I thought i had escaped, I pulled away as hard as I could but ended up at the inevitable.
The guilt of not being able to help someone and the regret and remorse of not being there for him weigh heavily on my mind. Without a release of this guilt the sadness has built inside me, bubbling just below the surface, waiting for the best time to ravage my brain with anxiety and black thoughts.
It feels almost as if someone has unplugged a cord from my brain, it's flailing around, emitting it's current and causing havoc. Noises are amplified and sound like they are coming from a mega-phone. Sleep comes in off-beat blocks. I can stare at the ceiling for hours on end or sleep until past midday. My mind races, sounding like a schoolyard of screaming children that just wont quit. My heart beats until it feels like it's about to escape my chest. I grit my teeth until it hurts and wait for the feeling to pass.
To try and explain this to someone who has never experienced depression is hard. My friend knew exactly what I felt but I never had to say a word. He would look at me and just say "I know, it's okay" and sometimes that is all I would need to hear. My quick fix. My verbal valium.
Sometimes there is no trigger at all, just that familiar tap on the shoulder. "Oh hai depression, there you are. I have been wondering where you have been hiding while I have been off picking daisies" Then I am dragged, kicking and screaming, to that familiar place.
For a while I found comfort in drugs, any I could get my hands on. This proved to be futile, often exasperating the symptoms. I am pleased to say I learned my lesson, albeit the hard way, and no longer use drugs at all.
So with the hands of depression firmly gripped around my neck, I await the ride it takes me on. The repeated roller coaster. There is no choice in jumping off or tightening the seat belt. It decides when it wants to spit you out.