You hear it all the time. Well depression isn’t like that. Have you ever asked someone why they got cancer or what they’re treating their diabetes for? Of course you haven’t. These are diseases that people battle with, they beat or they live with. Depression is my disease. It can be triggered by events or it can appear as if by magic. It is a constant balancing act of making yourself happy, of doing things you hate because they’re good for the chemicals in your brain.

I walk, I hate to walk but I do it because I must. I take my drugs, not because they make me happy, but because like the regular walking they prevent me from becoming sad. Often all I want to do is hide in a corner and let the world pass me by but more often than not I force myself to interact with the world. It sounds cheesy but wearing a smile sometimes helps me to feel the smile on the inside. If I can’t force a smile, I know I’ve let it get too far. In my world there’s a hole in the ground which I’ve fallen into before. I now know where it is so I can watch out for it but sometimes the ground gets slippery and it’s hard to stay away from it.

There have been times when I can’t bring myself to get out of the bed, to answer the phone to even my mother or to wash. These are the times I’ve fallen to the bottom of the hole and sit in the darkness letting the world go on above me. Thankfully these times are few and far between now. Mostly I’ve gotten the balance right. Occasionally however I get a glimpse into that feeling and it’s terrifying. I’ve worked so hard to get my balance right, to function and glean some happiness from this world that the thought of falling into that hole again is the only thing that drives me.

If you’ve been there, you know exactly what it feels like. If you’ve never been there, if you’ve never been terrified at the prospect of civilised human interaction then count yourself very lucky.

I’m not depressed today, I’m looking at the hole in the ground, it’s taunting me and I’m working hard to not fall in again. I’m stumbling, I’m struggling but I’ve some great people helping to keep me standing. I still dream of a day where I can fill in that hole in the ground that tries to engulf me and never worry about it again but I suspect that day will never come. This is just something I live with.

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