One woman tells of living inside the world of depression
DEPRESSION is like walking on a tightrope, repeating; "keep your head up, don't look down, deep breath, keep walking, keep breathing, don't look down…"
Then comes a gust of wind that moves the rope, and you lose your balance, you look down, you hold your breath, and you know you will fall, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
You will fall slowly at first, but with every breath faster, until you hit the bottom, and it hurts, it hurts to move, it hurts to breathe, it hurts to think, and all you want to do is sleep. Just drift into abyss of nothing, hoping that you didn't have to wake up, never again… …never speak again, never see again, never feel again…
It would be bliss, to just disappear, like you were never here. You hope you could erase yourself from the memories of your loved ones, so they didn't have to feel the pain of your passing, and ask themselves the useless questions: "was there something I could've done?", "Was it something I said?", Was it something I did?"…
There are no answers, there are no solutions, you are alone with a beast which tears you apart from the inside.
You cannot explain it, maybe you hurt yourself, maybe you hurt the people around you, but no matter how hard you try, you can't reach the beast inside you.
After some time, if you are lucky, the beast sleeps again, and you can get up and start climbing again, up from your hole and back on the tightrope. Just go slowly, and carefully, try not to wake up the beast, don't look for it, don't speak of it, don't think of it… just let it sleep.
When you get back on the rope, count how many people are still by your side, how many had enough of "your moods" and left.
Let them go, for they deserve to have a life without your drama. It takes lot of love to let them go, so you can't hurt them anymore.
Then one day, you may wake up like me, to find out that you are alone in the world, you pushed people away until there was nobody left. That is a good thing, because there is less pressure to "make it", you are not hurting people who don't deserve to be hurt, and when you hit the bottom, nobody saw you fall. You can keep climbing, falling and crawling in silence, without anybody knowing about the battle you fight behind your well practiced smile.
Christmas is hard, and even though I tell myself that I'm used to, not having a birthday, this year is hard, because it's a round number, 40.
People at work were asking if I'm going to have a party, because you are supposed to have a big party for a big birthday, and how I was supposed to answer that without lying?
"No, I don't have a party, because I don't have anybody to have it with."
"No, I don't have friends, I have no family".
And I see it in their eyes that they feel sorry for me, and I start to feel sorry for myself.
I keep my chin up, and tell them it's fine, because I don't want them to feel obligated to have a pity party.
The money is tight, and I might not be able to afford to have cake, to eat by myself. I feel the rope starting to shake under my feet again… because I can't have cake. That's a big deal, right? Cake is a big deal?
Big enough deal, to curl up in ball and cry myself to sleep, so when I wake up, I can cry some more, over a cake I can't have for my 40th birthday?
"Don't look down, deep breath, keep walking, keep breathing, don't look down…"
- Name withheld,
Do you need help? Contact Lifeline on 13 11 44 or visit www.lifeline.org.au for support at any time.