In my last post, I wrote about depression in numbers and how being around others who are depressed, while you are currently in a low mood, can be worse not better.
It is great to be around friends that can relate, but if all of us are down at the same time, we feed off that energy, because depression is a dark void.
Think about it. There are four women who meet for coffee every Thursday. They talk about the goods, the bads, and the nothings at all.
If one is down, the other three can lift her right back up with no effort at all.
If three are down, think about how hard it is for the fourth woman.
Not only is it impossible for her to bring everyone up – she can try as hard as she likes.
She can lift one’s spirits but by the time she moves on to the second person, the third person has brought the first right back down.
Depression is a vicious cycle and it feeds maliciously off of anyone it can sink its teeth into.
If that fourth woman also suffers from depression from time to time, she does not stand a chance in this scenario.
Depression is a Dark Void
That’s a big reason for the ‘fake face’. We pretend to be happy when we’re not, because it makes it easier for you to survive.
We don’t talk about it because if you don’t get it, you won’t get it, and if you do get it, you might get it too well and too fast – right now.
If you suffer, depression is contagious.
It’s the never-ending plague that just keeps cycling back.
There are days when I don’t want to talk because I’m afraid for your health.
There are days when I don’t want to talk because I’m afraid for my health.
I’m barely keeping it together, I don’t want to risk running into someone and being brought down into the dark hole of depression.
That’s the thing about depression – it’s a dark void.
If we think about it like a big black hole in the ground with no bottom, or rather a bottom that can’t be seen, it might put it into perspective for those who don’t suffer.
If the hole is on a street you’ve never been down before, you don’t know it’s there.
Not only do you have nothing to worry about, but since you don’t know of the hole’s existence, you never have to worry about falling in. Those thoughts don’t even cross your mind.
The hole doesn’t exist.
If you do know about the hole, you’re afraid of falling in.
Maybe you’re one of the lucky few that can say, “Hey, there’s a hole on that street, so I’m never going to go down it. I will never fall in because I’ll never take that street.”
For us who suffer, we live on the street.
Depression Needs Help and Strength
We can’t get away from the hole, but we can try to be really careful not to fall in.
We also know that if we do fall, and we’re feeling strong, we can pull ourselves out. We know this.
It might take a few days, but we can get out.
When we’re not strong, we call for help, and someone will come. We have friends. We have family. We have support.
Sometimes we think we’re strong enough to pull ourselves out and it takes many days/weeks/months before we realize we’re not making any progress, so then we start calling for help – it might be a while before we are heard.
The person or people who come to help you out of the hole, they don’t know how long you’ve been in there or how loud you had to call for them to hear you.
They don’t know your story; they just know you need help getting out, and they come.
For the people who don’t know about this street, or this hole, they are blissfully unaware.
They don’t know about our struggles. They don’t know how hard it is for us in the hole, or for those who are trying to pull us out.
They don’t know.
I assume that those people aren’t reading this right now.
In case that’s you, and in case I’ve just opened your eyes to something, and you’re thinking, “Well, why not just move off the street? You don’t have to live there, move.”
We’ve tried. The hole moves too.
We Need Your Support
When you hear of suicide and can’t figure out why a person would do that, remember this hole.
That person fell in the hole and was in there for a very long time struggling. Struggling first by themselves, then with others trying to help.
At some point, they couldn’t do it anymore and so they gave up.
They let themselves fall further into the void thinking it would be better down there.
No more struggling.
No more asking for help.
No more risking others lives as they try to help.
I don’t know what it’s like on the other side of that hole. I don’t know if it’s better or worse.
I do know what it’s like for the people who are still standing. The pain is unimaginable.
It’s so awful; I’m not going to attempt putting it into words.
What I will say is, remember those four women who meet every Thursday for coffee?
Sometimes they meet around the hole. Sometimes they meet in the hole. Every Thursday, without fail, they meet.
Find your three closest friends, make a plan, and show up.
It won’t always be easy, but you’ll never be alone.