Some Real Talk About Depression

I wanted to share some thoughts about my depression because I know I am not the only one trying to navigate their mental health stuff right now. Now I want to make it very clear that I am ok. I am safe and I am not at risk of harming myself or others. I am ok. But I’m not ok. I feel like I’m bursting with these kinds of contradictions. I’m ok but I’m not. I know who I am but I don’t. I want to feel ok but there is so much happening in this world that I don’t feel ok about. I’m tired but I’m not giving up.

There have been too many negative feedback loops feeding each other. Regular stress. Pandemic stress on top of that. Stress leads to feeling bad and staying up late thinking which then causes a lack of sleep. Lack of sleep can lend to bad communication which leads to more stress. Which can contribute to not eating well and not exercising. In addition to the basics I’m also feeling the weight of existential crisis; both as an individual and as a part of humanity. Just like a line of dominoes, if one falls then the rest tumble down. 

I pull inward as I start to sink into my depression because I have less and less energy to keep engaging with external stuff. My thoughts become a place of refuge because I at least I am familiar with most of the bullshit going on in my own brain. It feels safer in my own head than dealing with other people’s bullshit.

But I have noticed that in the pit or cave of my depression there is also a well of creativity. I can’t always access it though. Mostly it feels like swirling thoughts of possibility that have the consistency of smoke so it is difficult to actualize these thoughts and ideas into reality. I remember how dark these pits and caves felt to my younger brain. I struggled with them so hard and that isn’t to say that they are easy now but there is something different about navigating these places. Maybe I trust that I can find my way out now when back then I wasn’t so sure.

I’m not getting out all the ideas and thoughts that are swirling around in my head but I am taking steps that I never have before. I used to try to get the ideas and thoughts out by just letting myself free write with pen and paper, usually this is happening at some dark and late hour. But that’s where it would end, those papers eventually finding their way to a big file folder I keep of words I’ve jotted down on single sheets of paper. I think this is the first time I have ever decided to keep working on the writings outside of depression pit time. I typed up the writings from the past couple of nights and I’m starting to see the shape of something. I’m not quite sure what it is yet but I’m excited to keep working on it; I don’t actually feel connected to the excitement but I do know that it’s there.