What depression feels like ~ a moment by moment analysis

  What depression feels like ~ a moment by moment analysis

I’m sinking. I must have been sinking for ages but I couldn’t see it. I try to speak but words won’t come. They feel stale, overused and meaningless as I turn them over in my head like worn out clothes. I fall silent, all the things I might once have talked of now long forgotten, like those far off days on a summer afternoon after school, that lose meaning when you try and put those memories into some sort of adult order. My mind stutters, the words dry; there seems no point in speaking them. It won’t mean anything to anyone who wasn’t there at the time, and the memories vanish in a swirl of numbness.

I am eyes, seeing and observing, a pair of eyes in an ocean of nothingness. Some things are too bright, as if illuminated from within by the heat of decay; other things are dull as if a coating of filmy dirt covers them. I know some thing is beautiful but I feel nothing. It doesn’t touch me.

I am ears, hearing and remembering, but for what purpose I do not know. Like an idiot, I listen, trying to catch words in the chatter of sparrows, and make sense of the wind in the trees.

Someone once described to me what taking Ketamine feels like: you’re standing in a long corridor lined with doors. Each door leads somewhere but as you stand, the doors slam shut, hard, one after another. All that’s left is you, in a great long echoing hallway that goes nowhere with locked doors going on forever.

I can’t think. Every word I carve out of the rock with my fingernails, groping all the time for meaning in the darkness, the shape of things familiar and yet unknown. I’m aware of the things I know, but locked away somewhere, and I don’t have the password to open the doors again.

There are tears under the surface somewhere, bitter tears full of self pity and reproach. None of your sweet tears of release. These are pure acid and I will not shed them. They’ll corrode everything they touch.

So I sit, silent and unable to reach out and watch like a prisoner in a tower, waiting in that endless corridor, in the fading hope that one of those doors might not be locked after all.

It’s as close to dying as you can get, I think.

  { Edit. I posted this last night on http://thewildsheepsociety.wordpress.com for a number of reasons. For people who have no experience personally of depression, I’d like to remind them that it is an illness, it’s not something a person suffering with it chooses to endure, nobody enjoys it and it’s as damaging and debilitating as an illness or injury that can be seen plainly. I don’t write these sorts of things as a bid for attention, but initially as a way of trying to understand what happens to me, and I share some of them as a part of widening awarenss of an issue that is still somehow taboo. People who know me in the so-called real world are shocked to discover I have this illness because most of the time I hide it. When I suffer with the onset, I find I stop being able to talk. I can still write, usually, but my normal loquacious self vanishes and I will fall silent. I can still come out with the oneliners and the quick comebacks but only as a default setting. I don’t find them funny myself; it’s a way of diverting attention.}