I have a hard time relating to how things are discussed in medical text books or even online resources. Depression for me is all encompassing – a creeping void of dark energy that seems to drain me completely.
I envision my seasonal depression like a giant well.
Every year I build defences as I climb out of the hole, sometimes I create a new cognitive foot grip. I spend time building the fences around the hole, I create a small staircase that goes from just inside in case I fall in a little.
At the bottom of this well are all the “versions” of me that will never get out. They tell me of all the other times I have fallen in – they remind me that months and a year at one stage were spent in this place.
Even worse though are the parts of me I label the diggers – these parts of me are not content with me simply being kept here a few months every year – they have been digging the hole deeper – they have found mementos from my childhood of when I have done things I am ashamed of – or painful memories and they use them as spades to dig deeper under ground.
At the moment I am in the depression hole trying to find my way out – I have a few foot grips, and I can at least see the light at the top of the hole. I am clambering my way out again and building new stairs that go further down.
I always know it’s coming – but sometimes things happen externally that make it worse – One such thing is doing that for me at the moment that I cannot discuss.
In the middle of the worst period of my life each year I am being made to retread an extremely awful time in my life – it’s laden with tons of trauma not just from the period then but for a part of my life in which I have had struggles previously – one that contains more than a fair few shovel memories for a team of diggers.
No medication has worked for me unfortunately – I have to just rough ride through the experience. It’s been especially brutal some days – one recently was the first in a while where I have genuinely wanted not to exist anymore. The problem with these dark moments is that counterintuitively they are where I need to not be questioned by those who love me.
In this state I am a tornado of self-sabotage. I can limit the damage now because I am aware of it. The people I love closest to me now know to listen if I tell them to not try and talk to me that day – because at the bottom of the pit all I see is the near impossibility of getting out.
There is a ladder – it used to be filled with rungs like:
- Your pets
- Your friends
- Your family
- Your interests
- Your goals
- Your future
Now the ladder has life experience which has weakened each rung with etchings that I can’t avoid when I try to climb out again.
- Your pets will die they always do. Enjoy them briefly before they leave you to.
- Your friends barely know you exist. Most of them wouldn’t realise if you had actually passed on because you’re awful at keeping in touch.
- Your family tried to commit you last year during Autistic Burnout. They love you still but thought that throwing you into a cell was the best thing for everyone at one stage.
- Your interests are meaningless. You cannot organise yourself well enough to be talented at any one thing.
- Your goals are a graveyard of failures. There are few things in life that you have truly succeeded at, and you have a litany of failures behind you.
- Your future won’t come to fruition. The world is dying through climate change and there is little hope of a good future where you can thrive and limit your eco footprint.
Each time I fall in here I have to fight my demons, climbing back up a ladder that is being eroded by external forces, and I do wonder if one day I will truly get stuck here – taking up a spade to get out.
That day isn’t today – so I will try and avoid the traps and triggers and climb for the surface again. Maybe leaving a few good foot holds for me in the future.