“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.