It has been days, maybe weeks since I’ve turned my back on God. It was a decision made actively in my mind and heart as I wrestled with depression more than ever. The idea of suicide has become my only source of relief or feeling of freedom. When I feel stressed or like a failure, I remind myself I will end it soon and suddenly it’s not so bad. I find myself joking about dying more, isolating myself from my friends even if they reach out to me and wanting to be alone all the time. I see myself eyeing the sharp objects in the kitchen, tracing my scar on my wrist and wondering what it’s like to die. I find that fear has gone out the window and death is no longer terrifying but a relief.
I get so angry when people who have never been suicidal try to talk to me about suicide. I get called selfish, inconsiderate or get told that suicide doesn’t help anything and the fact that I think about it makes me a bad person. News flash! Sending me down a guilt trip doesn’t make me want to stop thinking about suicide, it only makes me think about it more because the pile of things I fail at has grown by another comment about my character. Suicide is such a hard topic to talk about because death is so terrifying for most people. Let’s look at it from a different point of view. Instead of victim blaming, let’s be considerate human beings, shall we?
Depression is heavy. Depression is living life with a weight constantly strapped onto your back. You get used to it and become permanently hunched. Then one day, your depression gets heavier and you can’t breathe anymore. The idea of brushing your teeth, showering, and basic hygiene go out the window. They just aren’t important anymore when you’re suffocating. I can’t stand straight no matter how hard I try.
Depression is transforming. It changes people. How could it not? I can’t be a bubbly happy person when I feel like I am dying inside every second. It’s trying to hold a thousand pieces in your hand of a puzzle you didn’t even want. You struggle to hold onto everything but pieces continue to slip through your fingers. Depression changes you. You don’t hold the pieces anymore, you just drop them. That’s when transformation happens. Your mind cracks ever so slightly when the pieces are dropped and your whole being changes. You’re harder, don’t smile as much, quieter, stuck in your head more. You might stand straight and look like the weight is gone but it’s simply shifted. Instead of physically holding the weight, it’s now hanging in your heart like a bad car freshener and it’s rotting everything around it. I can’t and will never be the same person before depression. It’s not a cop out to say I’ve changed, it’s facing the fact that I can’t be fully alive when my heart is slowly dying.
Depression is the perpetrator and you are the victim. If you know someone with depression, it’s impossible to point your finger at something and say, “This is the source of depression. This is the bad guy.” We sit there and stare blankly around because there is no physical bad guy that we can see and blame. Depression, for me at least, is genetic and in my chemistry make up. My chemistry isn’t functioning the way it’s supposed to and as a result, I’m an empty shell for no particular reason that we can see or understand. Who is there left to blame? The one already being held hostage by depression. I am the only person you see in my case of depression so naturally I become the bad guy. It’s my fault and I need to try harder. Guess what? I can’t. It’s physically impossible.
“But if you just try harder, nothing is impossi-”
Stop. Just stop. Take your happy sprinkler and turn it off. I have tried harder, I have told myself all the happy things, I have read every self-help book but I finally realized that I am not the problem. Depression is the problem and I am stuck neck deep in it. There is no trying harder or pushing through it. There is no snapping out of it, there is simply surviving. So do not sit across from me and point your fingers and happy sprinkler. Sit next to me and tackle the depression with me. Or just don’t sit next to me at all.
Depression makes living impossible. I don’t even feel like I’m living anymore. I am walking around aimlessly checking things off my to-do list. Well, sometimes. I miss a lot of class and meetings because I lay in bed, unable to move. I felt guilty about it in the beginning, but it blended into the numbness and now I feel nothing again. I just sit and poke the black hole. That’s all I can do.
Depression sucks. I think we can all agree depression is the biggest asshole around. It ruins relationships, destroys people around you and sucks the life out of someone.
I have ten thousand apologies to make for those I’ve hurt and pushed away because I thought they were better off without me. I have ten thousand hurts to make up for and ten thousand consequences to accept. I am struggling to even get out of bed but believe me when I say there is still a part of me that is willing to move mountains for the select few I love the most. It’s small and disappearing but it’s there.
I can’t quite end my life because I can’t quite stop caring. This shows me I am still a human and I still have a soul. Maybe I’m not as condemned as I believed I am. How could someone condemned still care so much? They can’t, right? Yet here I am, feeling condemned yet unable to be completely cut off from those I love. It’s tortuous, wanting to be something my depression won’t let me. My shackles are tight and I am bound. Maybe for life, maybe just for today, I don’t know.
I watched a video for class today that talked about evolution, science and God. I looked at the scientific evidence for evolution and found it fascinating. The end of the video is what threw me. The professor talked about Genesis being a timeless piece that is applicable to people of all generations throughout the rest of time. God says His creations are good and the story of the fall isn’t a story of blame and anger, but a story that illustrates the tragedy of having a heart separated from God. I almost fell out of my seat because a wave of emotion flooded my heart and I couldn’t even feel the weight for a split second. Suddenly the idea of turning from God is heartbreaking and I feel His pain. I felt as if someone had reached into my chest and squeezed my heart. The weight was shaken off for a second and the heart was split into a million pieces; the shattering sound is too much for my soul to bear and it’s deafening. I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s how God felt when I said no, I would no longer work for His kingdom and focus on survival instead. I wonder if He misses me and has a broken heart for me. No words can come close to describing such an infinite being. No words can describe the pain. I wish I could place my hand on your heart and simply show you, but I can’t.
Then, my mind kicks back in and I remember my decision to say no. I remember the anger I feel towards Him and decide that He can have a broken heart. I block out the emotion and once again sink into the numbness. Well, God, if I have to suffer like this, then You can suffer with me.
Like I said, depression changes a person. Maybe it’s temporary, maybe it’s not. I feel God trying to poke His way in but I can’t let Him do it. I can’t let Him in. Why? Healing is painful and I don’t trust a God that would let me suffer like this.
I can’t sit here and be all yay God for an audience and be hopeful for those who are hurting. I’m sorry I can’t do that today. I can’t pretend the pain isn’t there and not look at it because nobody will look at it. I have to face the reality of depression, accept it, bring it to light before anything else can happen. I can’t pretend I’m not suffering and smile for an audience that wants hope. What I can offer is reality and company to sit by you as you suffer because I’m suffering too.
Depression may try to take everything from me, but it can’t take away my desire to sit with you and be real. I’d say that’s a victory for all of us suffering in the form of a big middle finger to depression.