Depression Doesn’t Just “Go Away”

The relative that suddenly pulls up in the driveway, lugging their bags into the house, declaring their week-long stay will eventually leave. You will breathe a sigh of relief when the stay is done, help them pack their car, and wave from the front porch. The weight that is lifted from you is only darkened by the knowledge that they will return. It will happen again.

Depression isn’t fixable. There isn’t a solution, an ending, or a cure. It’s a thing you live with, not something you live until. It’s something you learn to deal with because it will not go away. It’s a monster that always exists, but one that hides in the shadows. It’s a relative that visits whenever they want, barging into your home to invade your space and monopolize your time.

More often than not, with an anxiety disorder comes depression, and vice versa. I fall into the category of someone that suffers from both. My depression came shortly after my anxiety, and as I described above, it still hangs around.

I am someone that is often described as outgoing, funny, ambitious, and confident. This means that when those around me learn of my anxiety disorder, they are often surprised. Learning that I am a sufferer of depression is something that seems unfathomable.

Because I am usually upbeat and talkative, there is the impression that my depression is either nonexistent from the start, or if there is knowledge of it, it exists no longer. It becomes the thing I beat, the rough patch I went through, the feeling that I once had.

It doesn’t work that way.

The relative that suddenly pulls up in the driveway, lugging their bags into the house, declaring their week-long stay will eventually leave. You will breathe a sigh of relief when the stay is done, help them pack their car, and wave from the front porch. The weight that is lifted from you is only darkened by the knowledge that they will return. It will happen again.

This is depression.

Personally, I like to say it like this: I am always depressed, because I am always suffering from the mental illness that is depression. However, there are times where I am actively depressed. If you are also someone suffering with this illness, you probably know what I mean.

If you have the flu, for example, you are sick with the flu. Even when you are not throwing up, you are still sick with the flu. The times that you’re throwing up are just worse.

Depression doesn’t mean that I’m laying in bed, only wearing black, hiding under the covers and crying off my thick black mascara.

Depression is like a predator: it doesn’t wear a sign. It both lives and hides amongst us.

While depression is a sadness, there is something so much deeper than that, and everyone’s experience looks different. My depression can look like a lot of things. It can be baggy eyes, a growth in time asleep, fewer text message replies, or overeating. It can also show itself with more Facebook posts, text messages at odd hours of the night, or insisting that I’m not really hungry. My depression can be my insistence that I want to get out and do something or it can be my car parked in the same spot for days. There are times I need to talk and will type paragraphs and pages of text messages to a friend, and there are other times I simply do not have the energy to reply.

There is no rulebook to depression: not what it looks like, how it appears, or how it leaves. There are no guidelines as to how you will act when it comes, and no way for you to predict its departure.

Some visits are more difficult than others.

My most recent bout has been a rather difficult one. It was the driving force behind my internet absence. I lacked energy constantly, fought to do so much as take care of my own personal hygiene, or even reach out to my closest friends. There were nights it was slicing me right at my knees, and days it whispered in the forefront of my mind.

I am happy to tell you that she has since packed her bags, started her car, and departed from the driveway that belongs to me. I have no doubt that she will return, but for now, I am alone. I am free.

This isn’t a feel-bad-for-me-post, and it is most definitely not your pity that I seek. What I do want to offer is an explanation, a cause to behavior, a reason behind forced conversation. What I ask for in return is the same thing I always require: knowledge, education, and attempts at understanding.

It is a vulnerable place to publicly write of your own mental health struggles, of course. Yet I guarantee you that there are multitudes of people closest to you struggling–not as open as I–that you have no idea about. I am hopeful, as always, that I can bring some sort of awareness to you. Take a moment. Look around. Ask the questions.

You never know who is in the midst of hosting a difficult relative.

3 Comments

  1. Becs says:

    I am in love with this metaphor!! What a great way to represent how mental health changes but doesn’t ever get completely resolved. Love your work. Can’t wait to hear more from you.

    Like

  2. Mollie, I can understand the struggles that come with a condition like depression, and the complexities of it too. Personally, I have struggled with a mental health condition of my own, and I can tell you for a fact that it does not just go away, it takes some time. However, in my case, I found that relying on self-care tips alone was not beneficial to me. I had to involve the presence of the Lord in my affairs. I prayed about the situation, I read the word of the Lord, and I believed in him. God has helped me through something that has been a bit of a difficult process. God is real, and prayers work. Nothing is impossible to the Lord. God wants you to be happy, and our heavenly Father is going to work to make that happen. It might not happen overnight, but it will happen. You should use this time to be a blessing to others in the same situation. Pray to God to use you to help others, and to provide you with healing of your own. Speak to groups of people with the same condition, and collectively as a group you should work to get better on the condition. I pray that God dwells in your midst and manifests a good testimony.

    The Bible says in Philippians 4:6
    “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done”.

    God says in Isaiah 41:10
    “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand”.

    If you do not yet have a relationship with the Lord, I would strongly suggest that you begin one. There are a lot of blessings that comes from knowing the Lord, and being in fellowship with him. If you already have a relationship with the Lord, that is good, keep believing and working to deepen your relationship with him, and I am sure that he would come through for you somehow.

    If you want to know about God in more detail, you can find further information here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/a-few-things-that-i-have-learned-about-god/ And Here https://christcenteredruminations.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/how-to-build-a-relationship-with-god/

    May God’s blessings be with you, Amen. ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: How My Guinea Pig Aided My Mental Health – Hot Mess Mollie

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