Out in the middle of nowhere sits a lake that no one knows about and no one talks about. It’s a beautiful spot teaming with life and serenity. Perfect in every single way. Except one. It’s lonely and unappreciated. It sits there with no audience to view it and no friends to share it with.
This lake is the perfect depiction of how my depression feels. How I feel. I sit here with all this potential, love, and hope to give but no one to share it with. All these dreams pent up and wasting away. However, what if I told you the scene I shared above wasn’t finished?
Not but 100 feet out are all these people desperately wanting to get in and enjoy the lake. But the lake has a wall around it–high and thick with no gate. A wall it built up by itself to protect itself. Or isolate itself.
That wall is every brick I placed and created by pushing every person away. Every time I didn’t answer a text message or phone call. Every time I avoided leaving the house. Every time I chose to stay in bed all day verses getting up. Every time I skipped taking my medications. Each instance placed a strong brick around myself. And guess what? It worked. Eventually, the people stopped coming and stopped trying.
Depression has a way of extending its sticky tendrils into every aspect of life. Unless burned away, it grows out of hand very quickly and very unobtrusively. For me, it started out small….”Oh, I can’t make it today because the baby has a cough and I want to be with him in case it gets worse” or “I’m sorry, I just completely forgot.” Then it grows bigger: Refusing to make plans or reach out. Until it is out of control: I no longer speak to anyone and only leave my house when necessary.
My isolation started years ago, but it grew to the desperate lengths November 2018. I started shutting down aspects of my life. I put up a front or a mask to hide it (heck, a smile can fool almost anyone). But privately….I didn’t talk to anyone about my thoughts or feelings. I didn’t leave the house other than for the necessities. I didn’t get out of bed or off the couch. I didn’t clean or cook or sleep well. I went to work, moved through the motions, went home and went to sleep until I’d wake up around 10:30 pm and not be able to fall back asleep the rest of the night. I cried for no reason. I created my own “lake” and sat on an island in the middle unreachable to all.
Now? I’m on a raft moving slowly towards shore. I have my counselling and psychiatry appointments set and I’m going to them. I reached out to one person close to me. That may not seem like much, but it’s huge for me. This post is another part of the healing. By telling you all, I’m starting to chip at the walls I built up.
In December, I started trying to open up through tweets on twitter and a mental health update, etc. But none of that really felt…healing. As I write this post though….I can feel just a touch of the pain lifting. almost like a sense of pressure disappearing. It’s leading me into what I want for this new year more than anything. Something I’ll share little by little I suppose on top of all the other goals I have for the year.