“JOY HAS LEFT THE STATION”
By Faith Falise || Depression does not ambush you. It is a gradual overtaking by an intangible darkness. It’s a sneaky beast that wants nothing more than to drag you down into the cold abyss of hopelessness and melancholy. You don’t see it coming. You don’t feel anything, so you don’t feel it happening. It slowly consumes.
You wake up not looking forward to anything. Joy has left the station. Getting out of bed is physically painful. Looking in the mirror is pitiful. It’s best to lay in bed and ask the spouse to take the children to school. You excuse yourself from a variety of social occasions. You can’t imagine laughing and small talk or putting on your little black dress. Hell, you can’t even imagine showering regularly. Bursting out into tears at dinner with friends and making people uncomfortable becomes your new normal.
Your house becomes your cave. You become a recluse. You slop around in rags. Your former self is a distant memory replaced with a woman that looks vaguely like your grandmother and vaguely like a homeless person you once helped.
Perfume, lipstick, brushed hair, clean socks? Overrated. You don’t answer the phone, you don’t respond to questions, you don’t face anyone. You are negative. Positivity left on the same train as joy.
It’s almost impossible to drag yourself up and out of depression. You are told that you have to work to climb out of the tar pit of despair, but you know that the effort will be too great for you; you are too tired to do it. The world would be better off without a negative nelly in its midst. You are nobody and nobody will miss you. You are invisible.
Your accomplishments mean nothing. You are a bad parent. You brought this on yourself.
This is clinical depression and although intangible, it’s real. NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) reports that the risk of depression is consistently two to three times higher among women than men. Yet, according to the CDC there are four male suicides for every female suicide due to depression.
If they’re like me they’ll want to jump from the top of a building to escape it all. Thank God I didn’t, but I could have, easily.
Godspeed, Robin Williams. Those of us that suffered through clinical depression all too well understand your pain. Your talent will be sorely missed. The number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Faith Falise is a libertarian activist, homeschooler and author who knows what it means to battle clinical depression.