This is the third time depression has entered my life. As sure as the sun will rise, I have now accepted it will always return. Of course I treasure the spells when it lies dormant. However, when the time comes, a soldier enrolled against my will, I answer it’s war call.
On the first occasion I relied on medicine to pick me up and shield me from the intensity of my feelings. Although this offered a welcome break from mental turmoil, it was just that, a break. It is a strange experience to allow your body to become addicted to a drug and, for me, it only brought about more unmanageable problems. Coming off of meds, I’ll never forget feeling the strength of unfiltered emotions after a six month long numbness, and how I never wanted to experience that again.
On the second encounter, I decided to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm. No chemical aid. Just positively pretending and emotionally see sawing with a Psychologist until it stopped. And it did eventually stop, though it was very difficult to get back on the noble mare Normality; given that she threw me off so violently.
This disease is angry, it is forcing me to the edge of my sanity and telling me to jump. And this time it’s screaming.
So here we are again. My head is the enemy once again. But somehow it’s different this time…
It’s different not because the feelings have achieved some new ferocity as though every single ounce of evil in the world is manifesting itself in my brain and trying to kill me. No. It’s different because underneath it all there is still a defiance. I can’t hear it, but I know it’s there. I know it’s there because through all the tears, and the exhaustion, and the emptiness, I have carried on.
The past couple of weeks it’s as though someone has been holding an overweight elephant above me, threatening to drop it straight on top of me. It was yesterday when it finally came crashing down and crushed me into the ground.
I dragged myself onto a treadmill and ran, my head was frozen in misery but my legs persevered saying no. I pushed my zombie corpse into the shower and completed the daily routine without presence. I emerged. Mood unchanged. Elephant unmoved. And I howled until my eyes swelled shut. But then, suddenly, as if to spit in the face of the depression that plagues me, I left the house! I went outside! I just kept going!
I had text my boyfriend prior to staying at his house that night to say that I wouldn’t make the day trip to Glasgow the following day. Our friends had planned this earlier in the week and in that moment, battered and bruised, I felt I couldn’t face it. It was only after I walked out of my front door I decided that actually, I would go to Glasgow. I will go out in public. I won’t shut myself away.
Today I went to the Glasgow Science Centre and Transport Museum and I had a really good time. Though I can’t let my guard down just yet, I will savour this beautiful victory. There was a bloody massacre in my head today and the aftermath: depression’s desolate defeat. I have won this battle and I will win this war, again. And again.