dark and twisty

“Depression is the flaw in love” – Andrew Solomon

Everyone has their own dark and twisty- the part of themselves that they hide, and in that then festers and grows and clasps on.

The best way I can describe it is a crushing, horribly saddening numbness. Everything is terrifyingly grey. 

“The opposite of depression is vitality” – Andrew Solomon

This is not just sadness. This is an overwhelming feeling of lifelessness, and an inability to grasp what the point of it, of any of it, could possibly be. 

Mirrors are the enemy. The resentment for the face staring back at you grows, especially when your mom says what’s-wrong-with-you-I’m-so-worried-something-is-horribly-wrong. But you can’t change. You try everything. You do everything you can to hide it. You laugh a lot, but it’s a mask that drains every ounce of your energy. You are in slow motion, fighting against something invisible inside of yourself. And the hatred grows. And the guilt grows.

Drives used to be my safe haven- the time when nothing else existed except the land and the sky and the music I played. These drives were transformed into dragging minutes of a trance-like state with quieter music and fleeting thoughts of that-tree-looks-big-enough-maybe-I-should-swerve. And long stares at kitchen drawers full of knives, surveying the options.

The bed, the couch, the floor- anything flat that can hold the weight of your body and your thoughts and your burdens- is where you spend most of your time. My sisters, my favorite people in the world, asked me to go to the beach with them. I couldn’t move off of the cold wooden floor, the thing holding the weight of my body and my thoughts and my burdens.

Mornings become nightmares. Days become hollow. Beautiful things become less beautiful. Everything is terrifyingly grey. Crushing numbness.

But slowly you fight it. You find the things, the people, worth the fight. And you slowly get up off the bed, the couch, the floor. You find you are able to walk around with the weight of your body and your thoughts and your burdens. The world becomes a little less grey. The numbness is no longer crushing. You can hold it now. You can appreciate the view from your favorite mountaintop, or spend time playing with your dogs, or enjoy family dinner. You can start living. 

But that feeling never fully goes away. It’s a fight you face every day. Some days I’m more tired than others. 

Writing this is something that is incredibly difficult for me. I have always had a hard time talking about this with anyone, especially for fear of doing it out of the want for attention or for fear of sounding dramatic. But I have come to realize that depression is something that so many people around me have experienced. It is a fight that many are fighting alone. Start sharing your dark and twisty.

This is something I will always carry with me, but I’ve learned how to find happiness and acknowledge these feelings as a shadow rather an as something so suffocating. It is now that I have gone through this experience that I feel so passionately about helping others do the same. 

-Middlebury College, ‘17.5