If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest and best things you will ever do.
The two worst parts of being bipolar is watching yourself slide down into depression and admitting to yourself how incredibly difficult, for good reason, it is for others to love you.
The high of hypomania is wonderful. So much energy, so much creativity, so much focus. But what goes up must come down, and the slow creeping of dark coldness into your body, under your skin, to your chest is overwhelming. I can feel my chest growing heavier and tighter; I can feel it squeezing my heart and lungs until I can barely breathe. I can feel the tightness of my throat as though I am about to cry, except I am too numb to cry. The numbness begins from my chest and percolates throughout my body until every digit feels nothing except cold numbness from within.
Few days go by that I do not think about suicide, but it is during this slide down that I contemplate suicide because I have no hope. At the very bottom, I contemplate suicide out of curiosity. Curiosity of what it feels like to slowly slip away; curiosity of what it feels like to know that I’ve crossed the point of no return; curiosity of what it feels like to be at peace. And because of this, I am incredibly difficult to love. It would be easy to blame those around me for failing to be supportive, but that is not the truth. The truth is that they’ve done the best they can, and I am simply too much.
When your greatest fear is loneliness, and the defining element of your illness is the constant loneliness, that is a hard truth to swallow. I fear and feel the loneliness like no other, and it has been and will be a constant in my life.
I wish I could build a life alone, where my strength comes from within. But my fear of loneliness, coupled with the constant feeling of loneliness and the bitter truth that my mood swings make me a very difficult person to love, keeps me cornered. Perhaps one day I will learn to overcome, but for now, I am done fighting.
To be chemically depressed is like having a monster in your brain trying to take it over. The monster is never dead, but you can keep it chained in the corner by taking certain steps. Sometimes it tries especially hard to get loose. And even for the most well-managed loon, sometimes it does break free. When that happens, it changes your opinions. Things you believed to be true just the day before – that life was worth living, that there was hope for things to get better, that you are not extremely obese, evaporate as the monster sinks its tentacles into your mind. You literally lose track of ‘you’, and with it your ability to realize that the monster is lying to you.