Chronic depression is a state hard to explain to those who have not experienced it first-hand. Even your nearest and dearest, your loyal support system, remains in the dark much of the time, innocent victims of your inability to articulate your situation.
Chronic depression is insubstantial — there’s nothing much there to sink your teeth into. My depression tends to ebb and flow. In bad times, it is like a thick smoke that surrounds me. It wraps around me, obscuring vision, hearing and smell. It suffocates anyone in the vicinity. It blots out all thought except the one, “I am here because I can’t escape. Why am I alive? There is no hope for me.”
In good times, the times that I wait for, long for, and work towards — in those times, my depression is like a shadow. At my feet, harmless but inescapable. How do you hope to escape from your own shadow?
I’ve had more than twenty years of experience dealing with this now. Many a time have I thought, “I’ve done it! I’m free! I’m cured!” But like a ghastly phoenix, my depression rises from its own ashes and surrounds me again. Like a snake lying in wait, it raises its hood and strikes in deathly silence. And like a lover whose trust has been shattered one time too many, I have stopped hoping.
There is no cure, there is no escape in this lifetime. Instead, there are masks, and crutches, and routines, and some day, I hope, acceptance.