Depression is a very serious thing. There is a conversation that we as a society need to be having, and we’re simply not. Like that drunk uncle who throws back a few too many scotches on Christmas Day, we’re tiptoeing around the truth, approaching it with hushed voices and casting furtive glances in its direction.
Depression is a killer, every bit as much as addiction and disease are. It might operate in a different manner, but the same end results are inevitably reached, and it’s in the lives that are ripped from the world at a tragically premature point in time. It creeps into your life and it turns blue skies grey. It makes sun into rain and it is relentless in the way it drains all the energy from your life. You can’t snap out of it. There is no quick fix to the problem. It is a mental slug. It’s a battle that takes place entirely inside your own head, and it happens as you’re doing your best to not go under, as the rest of society seems to be bearing down you with no chance of reprieve.
Ever had that one day where life seems against you? Where you reach around 10am and realise that you shouldn’t have gotten out of bed? Imagine that for a week. Or a month. Imagine every thought you have being a negative one and try and imagine the effect that would have you. Sometimes there are mornings where the mere act of rolling over and opening your eyes seem to be too much. Sometimes you’ll shut out the people trying to help you because that seems easier than acknowledging that there is something wrong.
The brain is a part of your body just as much as your arms and legs, and your knees and your shoulders are. Sometimes it can stop working the way it’s supposed to. That doesn’t make you a bad person. That doesn’t make you weak.
Suicide isn’t the act of a selfish individual. It’s the result of a total abandonment of one’s own life. It’s a cry for help in the most desperate way possible to humans. It’s rock bottom in the most final of ways. It’s the result of the darkness building its own brick wall around you until the pain of it all simply becomes too much to handle. It is not the cowards way out – and anyone that genuinely believes it is simply fanning the flames of a fire that has already consumed far too much.
Maybe I feel so strongly about this because there was a time in my life when I can very clearly remember feeling all of the above. I can remember shutting the people I cared about and I can remember moving through life in a complete trance. They were the darkest days of my life and I fight very hard to make sure I don’t let myself go back there – but sometimes I slip. Sometimes we all slip. It’s human nature. It’s all too easy for the bad days to grow into bad weeks, then into bad months. Then it’s darkness, slipping in from every direction. It’s a darkness so thick that you can’t even see that there are people banging down walls to try and reach out to you.
Suicide isn’t a selfish act. Depression isn’t weakness. It’s not a chip in the armor. It’s that monster you believed in as a child, only that monster is very real – and sometimes, when the lights are off, it claws at your ankles and drags you screaming into the darkness. Sometimes all you’ve got to do let someone in to switch the light on.
Life, as it is intended to unfold, is the most difficult thing you will ever go through. It is also the most wonderful as well. It might seem impossible at times to believe, but the bad times will pass – and just as surely as those bad times go, so to do we welcome in the good. Believe that happiness is something that we are all entitled to. Make it through the night. Sunrises are beautiful for a reason.