Yesterday I took some time to re read old journals and I stumbled upon something I wrote that illustrates just how serious my depression got years ago. As I reread this section the words seemed so distant and hard to relate to but it was very chilling to me to reflect on just how debilitating it had become.
I’m sharing this journal entry despite how scary and crazy it seems because I want people to truly get that depression is so much more than sadness. And for those who have been in this dark and desperate situation thinking you have lost your mind because the thoughts and feelings become so horrible and overwhelming…you are not alone! The thoughts and feelings do not define you and they will go away…I promise.
This was written when I felt hopeless and was the only way I could describe what was going on inside me:
I’m alone in a pitch dark room but I feel something approaching me. I keep turning around but it always seems to be behind me. The presence is darker than the room and no matter how hard I try I can’t see anything. It’s dark and mean and finally I recognize it — the depression is back. I want to escape but there is no way out. It’s starting to envelop me and I can’t get away from it. It breathes in my ear and the hair on the back of my neck stands up. My nervousness is slowly turning to panic because I know what it is capable of doing and I can’t stop it. I flail my arms around blindly hoping to catch it off guard but there is no contact. I’m completely surrounded.
It’s starting to penetrate me. It slowly crawls into my skin and takes my breath away. It starts to laugh and my nerves become irritated. I feel like I’m being violated and I want to tell it to stop but I can’t get the words out. It’s now saturating my brain, squeezing all the goodness and life out of it. It fills the space with fog and engulfs my entire head. Thoughts become muddled and I try to complete a thought — just one — but I can’t find a way to finish. There’s this noise. It’s soft at first and then slowly turns into a dull buzzing sound that grows with every attempt to think.
Suddenly it drowns out my inner voice that’s trying to stay alive but there’s no use. There’s no point in fighting it. It knows my weaknesses and it’s preying on them all. I fall to the ground, curl up and try to make myself as small as possible. I grab my head and try to shut out the noise but it doesn’t work. I get a burst of courage and in my head shout “NO! Please no. Go away. Get out of me.” Then I start to cry. I know it won’t listen. My whole body becomes agitated — every nerve and cell feels as if it’s on fire. I know suddenly that I have to rip my skin off to make it stop.
I look around and stare into blackness when suddenly I spot it. It’s shiny and has my name on it. I feel relief because I know I’ve found an answer. I take the razor and study it but a tiny voice tells me to put it down so I listen to it. Then it hits me. What was I about to do? How could I be so stupid? Panic overtakes me and I have to get out of there but I’m lost and alone and have nowhere to go.
Reality takes a stab at me and shakes me out of my trance and it’s too much. A voice tells me, “Go ahead. Kill yourself, you know you want to. Do everyone a favor. It will be such a relief. No more pain. No more madness. Just do it.” I squeeze my head hoping it will explode. It won’t go away. It has me. It’s in charge but then all of a sudden I’m calm again. I see it in the corner. My meds. That’s it. Just a handful and you’ll go to sleep forever. The depression will be quiet and the noise will go away. It’s so tempting. That’s all I want right now. For the madness that’s taken over my brain to go away.
Enough is enough. I come to the realization that it’s never going to end unless I take matters into my own hands. It’s necessary. It’s time. I move slowly toward it hoping something will interfere and stop me. My strength and hope is gone and I have one last thought to grasp at…Please just someone stop me. Take over, hurt me, hit me, knock me out, kill me. Do something so I don’t have to.
But I give up. There’s nothing. Just my meds and they have my name on it. My mind has been made up. It’s the only way. And that realization brings me peace and sadness and suddenly I wish things could have been different. How did I let this happen? What did I do wrong? Why won’t it leave me alone? I’m so confused and conflicted. I realize this must be what it’s like to go insane. I never thought I’d get there but now there’s no way out. That I’m positive of. I have the pills in my hand and the voice is whispering in my ear to do it. But something keeps me from swallowing them. I scream, “I f**king can’t take it anymore!”
I know there are reasons why I shouldn’t do this but what they are I can’t figure out. It’s too blurry. I feel like if I knew I’d change my mind but no matter how hard I try I can’t focus on anything. Nothing will stay still. I drop the pills because I’m so confused. I pray for God to kill me then I pray for Him to help me and then I just break down and cry.
I feel myself floating and it’s eerily quiet. I have this burning desire to find God. I want His help so badly but I can’t figure out how to find Him. I try to remember everything I’ve been told about Him but nothing makes sense. I feel like He’s too far away and I’ll never know Him. I’ve heard other people talk about Him and how He intervened and changed their lives but I’m so defeated. I’m lost. I don’t know what to do. I know what I want suddenly but I know I’ll never get it. There will be no clarity for me. I am convinced I am going to be stuck here forever and I should just accept that. I finally pray to fall asleep hoping that God will decide to help me…guard me in my sleep.
As I begin to drift I envision the darkness and evil exploding and evaporating. There is a sense of relief and freedom. I take a deep breath and it’s cleansing and when I exhale the poisonous fog leaves me. When the voice in my head starts to scream at me I look it straight in the eye and say, “Get the hell away from me!” The fog recoils and when I open my eyes again I say thank you to God and it is finally destroyed.