downward spiral

I’ve struggled with depression on and off throughout my lifetime.

There are times I feel it lift, a relief swells around me and I have the ability to breathe air deep into the bottom of my lungs. No longer is there a grip around me, I relax, letting go of the weight on my chest.

In other moments, seemingly out of nowhere, my heart races as I’m plagued by anxiety. Tears come in waves, enveloping me entirely and I cannot catch my breath. I hear myself cry, and it’s like hearing another person’s sobs, because the sound that escapes is so foreign, so unlike what I think I sound like.

Sometimes, I can feel that moment slip into another. The crying subsides, to be replaced by an emptiness. Perhaps I cannot cry anymore, but I believe it’s more likely that somewhere inside I decide to stop the torrent of tears. I don’t want to weep, I don’t want to feel weak, or helpless or sad. Instead I try to feel nothing. I don’t think I ever accomplish it.

I can never purge these feelings, the same way I can never empty my mind.

I look back on the happiest days I’ve spent, trying to recreate that feeling. I look ahead, at all the things I’m looking forward to. Yet, neither helps, I still feel stuck and sad and trapped inside myself. I know it’s unhealthy, I know I shouldn’t have to struggle, but I am unable to help myself, and help in other forms is not something I can do, right now.

Luckily, the spiral ends within a few days. I hit the bottom of it and begin the journey back up, a bit at a time. I do the things that heal my heart, I try to find things to make me smile, things to make me enjoy my day a little bit more. I ask those closest to me to listen, to help, to embrace me.

I climb back up and hope the next trip down is off far in the distance.

One thought on “downward spiral

  1. I do this too. Sometimes all I can think about is how wonderful it would be to go to sleep and never wake up. Not that I’d act on that, but it’s a nightmarish wish when I’m in the depths of depression. The part that really scares me is the emptiness. The idea that I don’t feel anything is more daunting than feeling bad.

    I don’t have anything to offer you that makes it better, but I do agree that climbing up out of it and staying out of it is the goal – however you can. So you have my sympathy and empathy.

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