My Musings

Being Unhappy: Dark Days.

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“Hello darkness, my old friend”

Lyrics from The Sound of Silence (Disturbed version for the win) and the perfect expression of depression when it chooses to rear its ugly head.

When you strip away the sarcasm, the euphemisms and the foul-mouth you are left with a broken soul. You can’t spell broken without OK but those who are broken are far from being OK and it has been many years since I have truly been OK.

At times I can be a very unhappy person, I can hide it quite well but I have been told that my eyes give it away, the lie, the truth behind the smile and the joking around. I think that this is true for many and I know that it is true for myself. I have looked in the mirror and while I might look fine and pretend to smile there is an emptiness to my eyes like I am dead behind them.

I often feel that due to being unhappy that I am a killer, I have killed the person that I once was, back then, way before the demons took over. That ‘Drew’ is no more and hasn’t been for a long time. I wouldn’t even know that person anymore, they aren’t me, the person that I now am is me, I am me, scarred, battle-torn and alive.

Scars are easy to see, they can pepper the body, arms can show the remnants of many a struggle with the darkness that is depression and the on-going war that goes on against the blade of the knife. I haven’t cut for years, I had to pull myself together not only to live but to be there for others in their time of need. In my darkest days a few years ago, I owed it to someone who gave their all for me to not start cutting again even though the lure was there, to feel, to bleed, to see, to know that though one life was gone, my own still endured. Most of my scars are faded, I’m losing them to time but that call is still there when I get down and when I feel depressed.

It is a constant battle to overcome, to carry on, to leave the knife alone and fight the fight in other ways. People see scars and they judge you, people need to walk a mile in your shoes and then they might understand why you do what you do and how it helps you to carry on, to endure, how you raise the middle finger to the sky and say fuck you to depression.

Scars on the inside are harder to see, from the outside you might appear whole but inside you are broken, shattered into pieces and barely holding on. These scars remain unseen by many, remains of an unseen internal war and it takes a lot to reveal these scars to others, you might be ashamed and you might not be able to open up for fear of what you are and the fear of darkness that lives inside.

In both cases there is judgement, or, can be, how do you tell someone that you have wanted to end it all, to die, that you wished your life was over? How do you tell someone that you cut yourself to feel as you felt nothing? It is hard, if you have someone special then opening up is hard, telling them what you are and what you have done takes courage, it takes trust in each other and it takes more than many have.

I think that I am always going to be alone, there is supposed to be someone out there for everyone but is that really true? How can you let someone in when you have a darkness inside of you? How can you open up your heart and love when in the future you might want to give your life away and how can you truly love someone when you don’t love yourself? Questions to plague the soul and answers that for me, remain out of reach.

Depression isn’t just being unhappy, it is far more. At times, everyone is unhappy and they move on, the feeling fades and they carry on as normal. With depression, that darkness is always there, it is a ghost that haunts, waiting, lurking, biding its time before it rears its head and makes itself known to you once again. It is two sides of the same coin, left and right, light and day, Jekyll and Hyde, each is a part of the other, the times when you are OK, when you want to live when you are content and when you are happy and the times when you aren’t, when you are unhappy, when you can’t find peace and when you want to die.

That darkness has crept up recently, a little at a time and it is hard to know when it goes from just being some bad thoughts and unhappy feelings to something far more, something consuming that takes over your mind and you find yourself spiralling down into the abyss, grasping for anything to hold on to and failing. Falling further and further away from yourself.

It is like a cloud coming down over the sky and blocking out the sun, a shroud being placed over a body and you lose yourself, you walk around like a robot, robotic responses, losing enjoyment in everything, not caring and just wanting release. You are numb to everything around you, the colours all fade, they become muted, washed out and the world turns to grey. You feel tired all of the time, run down, lethargic, like you could curl up in the corner and let the world pass you by, you want to sleep, dreamless sleep away from the world, the pain and the thoughts in your head, blessed peace and if you could sleep forever then you would.

What people don’t realise is that it isn’t a weakness, it doesn’t make you weak to feel this way, far from it. There’s a strength inside, something that makes you carry on, that won’t let you quit, won’t let you give in, that no matter how dark it gets keeps you living, a pull to something, to life.

Unless you have been there then you won’t understand, you can’t but the hardest thing that you can do in life is to carry on living when all you want to do is die. Taking it one step at a time, an hour, a day, a week, getting by and moving on, getting back to how you were, finding a peace within yourself and the life that you have, even if it is only a half-life, a life where you don’t ‘live’ but you ‘get-by’ and continue on in the hope of finding better days, of being a better person.

The point of this post, no real reason we all have dark days and I find it cathartic to write, in the written word I can find the emotion that I can’t express and see the feelings that I can’t find inside of me. The pen is like the knife, only instead of blood flowing, it is words flowing on a page, bleeding through writing, making the darkness recede and the colour return if only for a little while.

23 thoughts on “Being Unhappy: Dark Days.

  1. Oh Drew no one in the blogging world can break my heart or bring me to the verge of tears like you. I know many people say it cuz it’s just what people feel they have to say, but I mean this from the bottom of my heart: if there is ever anything I can do, let me know, k?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liking this seemed wrong, but it was a way to say ‘I hear ya, I’ve been there, I understand something of your struggle’. I’m not going to say I know how you feel because how could anyone know how another feels, but I will say that I battle with the darkness every day, I carry faded scars of my own and over the years I’ve found many ways to hurt myself that don’t leave scars.

    A question you posed is one I’ve been pondering for some time too: how can someone love me if I don’t love myself. So my plan for this year was to learn how to love myself, change the things I can’t love and appreciate the rest. It’s so fucking hard and yet I refuse to give up the fight. It’s one of the reasons why I’m still here, this dogged need to carry on fighting long after I have nothing left to give.

    I hope the darkness within you finds peace in the light.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. “Liking” isn’t exactly the reaction I wanted, but there’s not a button for “holy hell, that beyond sucks, some days getting out of bed is a battle to be fought, it’s okay to not be okay, I’ve been there (probably will be again as depression is a tenacious companion), and you are badass for continuing to fight the temptation to cut”,but…’like’. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hoping tomorrow is a better day for you Drew, such an honest post my heart goes out to you. You are stronger than you think to share your thoughts and feelings with Others is a massive achievement in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t think I can even find the words to say what I want to say here. You are strong, you are proving that by writing this, by picking up the pen instead of the knife.

    I can empathise with you, I’ve felt these feelings and fought these battles, too. I hope writing this today has helped chase a bit of your darkness away for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Darkness is in everyone, I think. It will never go away, it’s part of us. But it can be comprehended, and thus controlled and conquered. And once this is achieved, we can find balance. Keeping my fingers crossed that you’ll find yours!

    Like

  7. I am not going to throw platitudes because I know from personal experience that that doesn’t help. People who say “cheer up” to someone in the grips of the demon bitch that is depression and anxiety can go fuck themselves. It is well-meaning, but they just don’t get it. However, I will say that often it helps me when I am being held hostage by my mind, knowing that there are other people out there to talk to. I am one of them. I deal with depression and anxiety regularly. The bitch that is depression regularly has her hands around my neck. So if you want to talk or vent or anything. I am one who will listen and who knows a bit about it. Or, if you don’t want to speak, write. You are a fantastic writer. Even if at that moment it is the hardest conceivable thing you could possibly do, write. If you write, I will read it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I hate when it creeps in and catches you unaware so before you know it, you’re already sunk and it feels impossible to crawl out again but you do it, bit by bit, with the tips of your fingers, broken and bleeding. I often ponder the same thing – that I will always be alone. I’ve accepted it, more like resigned myself to it. So I’ve had to learn to stand up on my own, hoping I’ll make it. It’s the apathy that’s worst. When you’re unhappy, at least you feel that emotion, part of you is alive. But when the apathy hits, you couldn’t care less what you do, whether you keep going on or not because in that moment nothing matters. You’re just an empty shell, there’s nothing inside, no one looking out through those eyes. I’m with you. You’re not alone. Hang in there. We’ll make it. As they say in Kdramas, Fightin’!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Drew, I can’t express how happy and sad this post makes me feel at the same time. I’ve been struggling with pretty much with the exact same thing and recently, it’s been getting worse agian. With me, depression always brings ist friend anxiety to every party. So I get alot more obsessed with everything really. I know your struggle and after many years of threapy, I’ve come a long way but I know I will never be the person I once was. While that is sad, I also do appreciate the stronger, more driven me who won’t give up and I’ve seen that with a lot of depressive people. Some oft he people I know are some oft he most driven, active and over-achieving people I know. The struggle is real and the hard part is, I don’t have all teh answers to your questions. What I can say ist hat I felt just as alone as you did, and now I’m in a happy, healthy relationship with somebody how has just recently seen me at my worst. Loving yourself is important ot fully love others. But to learn how to do that, I needed (and still need) positivity and trust in my bf. I have that and at times it kept me going. He kept me going, because there was someobdy that I couldn’t stand to leave to their own devices.
    I’ve recently started to note down the things I appreciate about myself and ways to help me see the good in each day through a bullet journal. I put a lot of art (or rather my attempt at it) in it and it really helps clear the head and keep my anxiety in check. I know it’s not therapy, but maybe try out drawing/sketching something along those lines. It really helped me these last few weeks. -Klara

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally get it because I have been there. I’ve had depression since middle school and I’m 41 now…it’s not something that goes away, it’s something you have to figure out how to navigate and it’s really tough sometimes because it can get the best of you. (I can’t even tell you the amount of jobs I have let it cost me….ok maybe 4 O.O). Anyway, you’re not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you for sharing this. It’s so important that we are honest about our feelings. I’m really glad that you find writing helpful; I hope it continues to provide you comfort until things brighten up a little for you. I try to see my experience of depression as a series of peaks and troughs, to try and tell myself when I’m in a low that it will pass. But I also know how useless that can feel when you are in the depths of it. Sending you strength.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m glad you’ve shared this. Reminds me a lot of things my partner has said regarding his PTSD/bipolar/anxiety and from suffering from SAD myself what you’ve said really resonates. The darkness you speak of can be so heavy and smothering and constricting and I agree, I don’t think one can really understand unless they’ve experienced it personally. Knowing that it will lift eventually (even if it comes back again) is what keeps me going. It’s good that you find writing helps (I do too) and I hope you continue to write lots more! I don’t spend enough time reading other people’s blogs but I really do enjoy your posts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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