I see so many people sharing their posts about anxiety and depression over social media. I always wonder if any of them know what it actually feels like, because if they did, they wouldn’t make it public like that.
Here’s how our minds work when we are depressed: You feel low all the time and can’t figure out why. You may be happy sometimes but your mood plummets like a waterfall for the smallest of reasons.
You want to talk to people about it but then you also can’t because you fear that they will judge you and tell you to get over it. You think they’ll tell you that you are just trying to get attention.
You go to a psychiatrist and a counsellor. But a lot of times, you feel even worse there. You consider yourself good at keeping your emotions locked in when you are around people.
But these guys strip down all the protective walls that you have built around yourself and drag all the buried emotions out. Then you think that you might as well tell them everything because you have already started. And once the words start coming out, they don’t stop.
Every time you go for a session, you feel really weak, because you end up crying. Then they tell you that you need medication. They give you a bunch of pills. You really hope they work, because you want them to work. THEY DON’T. They just make you feel nauseous all the time. They make you feel like there is something really wrong with you. You feel like you are mentally unstable because why else would you be on such pills? And then you think, maybe you are actually really f***ed up because you can’t go out in public without anxiety twisting your stomach into knots.
You feel like the whole world is scrutinizing you and noting down every step that you take.
It isn’t like the movies where you get really understanding teachers, family and friends and where everything looks lovely.
You don’t get to take your time to do things. You don’t get second chances. Because this is life and life doesn’t wait for anyone. It goes on. Life can be cruel.
Sometimes you have really bad days and you lock yourself up in the bathroom and cry and cry until there are no tears left. If the pain in your mind is too much then you grab a knife and cut yourself, mostly in places people cannot see.
You make the pain physical because that is a hundred times easier to deal with than the mental pain.
Sometimes, the first attempt doesn’t draw blood and you feel so frustrated. It is like you can’t even get this one thing right. You want to hurl stuff at walls. You want to scream and rage till your voice disappears but you can’t because you don’t want people prying into your life.
All the people around you are constantly trying to change you. But you don’t know how to explain that it is impossible to change yourself.
Your head keeps going round in circles. Your brain presents you with one useless thought, then another and another, and you lose track of it. Then there is this noise filling up your head and it is so loud that it hurts. But you can’t escape it because it is inside you.
Your brain keeps telling you things like: “You’re never going to be good enough!” “You are a disappointment to everyone.” “You can’t make it.” “You can’t get anything right.” “You’re not worth it.” And you know that all of it is true.
You can’t remember the last time you felt completely, totally happy. You’re scared that you have forgotten what that feels like.
There are so many voices screaming inside your head that it makes your head pound. But nothing you do makes the voices go away. You are drowning in your own life and every time you try taking a breath, you end up choking and spluttering and gasping for air.
People ridicule your emotions. But if you could, you would transfer a tiny bit of this monster that is inside you to them- so that they know what it feels like.
It’s like you are watching the world from behind a glass dome, and to reach out, you need to break the glass with your hands. If you try breaking the glass, you end up hurting yourself more. There are too many scars on your body already.
You might have someone you can talk to, but nobody on the planet knows the whole truth except you.
You’ve thought of ‘accidentally’ overdosing on sleeping pills so many times because your death will be absolutely painless. You have already overdosed on your medication a few times but they never work and you really want them to work.
You’ve spent hours standing on a chair under the fan, with a rope around your neck, contemplating whether to step off the chair or not. Then you don’t do it because you promise yourself that tomorrow will be better.
It makes you appreciate how hard your body tries to keep you alive. Your brain is jammed. You can’t think. You can’t feel. You can’t speak. You just want to be left alone.
The truth is, people sometimes do get better. It’s not a matter that is resolved within days or weeks. Often it takes months and sometimes even years to recover. And then it happens only if you are one of the lucky ones. If you’re not, you just go through life with this darkness inside you which you don’t know how to handle. It’s always there.