At first, it's just another bad day. Something's irritated you made you upset, but it won't last forever. Tomorrow will be better; you kid yourself.
But it's not better. Nor is the next day or the day after that. Soon the days become indistinguishable. It's just heaviness, thick fog that consumes you and makes even doing the little tasks unbearable.
You think it will pass. Like a cold or a headache; it's only temporary. You start to realise the things that used to bring you joy and happiness are now worthless because they never work. You feel empty. Emotionless. Heavy. These feelings that are so hard to explain and describe. Maybe they don't exist at all?
You get used to holding back the tears. You get used to putting on this show, trying to blend in with everyone else. You start to accept this never ending bad mood as the norm. You start to lose hope that maybe one day you will be able to escape. At the moment that seems like a million years away.
You feel like your life is flashing by, and all you can do is watch and cry. You don't seem to be making the progress that you wanted to. Your life hasn't turned out like you expected. Will it ever? You start to question and doubt everything.
You're stuck in the never ending cycle of self-hatred and worthlessness. You think that you will never be happy again. You can't think about the future because you can't see one. All you see is thick dark fog covering your hopes, dreams and aspirations.
You don't see any way out. All the exits are blocked. So You try to ignore it. You try to hope that it fades away and maybe it was just a phase. You have sudden urges of motivation to try and be more active, eat better, be more social and most importantly more happy.
But what good is it anyway when you don't have the motivation or energy to carry on trying? When just getting out of bed in the morning, brushing your teeth, getting dressed and eating feels like you have run a marathon already, and it's not even 9:00 am.
You want to be like everyone else. How can everyone else juggle social life's, work, study, hobbies and relaxation so effortlessly and seem to be coping just fine, while I feel like I have new thrown in the deep end of a swimming pool, and I'm drowning silently. You want to be like everyone else. So you start to force yourself to act like everyone else.
But you learn to put on a social mask, grin and bear it because that's what your taught to do. No one likes to talk about the hard stuff. Hell, I don't like to talk about the hard stuff. You surround yourself with others, putting on a play, hoping and praying that the all-consuming voices in your head aren't shouting loud enough that others can hear.
You start to realise that the things that make your friends happy no longer make you happy. You're too fatigued to join in. So you start to isolate yourself. You distance yourself from everyone around you. You find excuses to stop seeing your friends and going out with family. You retreat into your comfort zone, hoping that it will help.
But it doesn't. It just makes things more difficult. You get stuck in a never ending cycle of loneliness and hopelessness. Praying for the day where everything will go back to being like it was before. You lose interest in the things that used to inspire and excite you. You lose all motivation.
The days get harder. The road becomes more difficult. You soon start to realise that you can't go on like this. You can't put up with it anymore. You can beat these demons on your own. You have two choices; seek help or carry on being caught in a descending cycle of depression.
Most will define illness as being something physical; a limp, an arm in a cast or a cough. But illness comes in many different forms, including those that the eye can't see. And sometimes these illnesses are the worst to overcome.
This is what living with depression looks like.
Thanks for reading, as always X