Why don't you talk to someone about your depression?
What a tiring and annoying question... sigh!
I take a deep breath and exhale my exhaustion as I look at the cold floor and shake my head…
Because I know that I will not find my solution in the pills that a psychiatrist hands me.
Because I know that my answers will not be found in the words that proceed from the tongue of a shrink sitting in a cleverly and strategically designed office.
Because no one in my family has experienced clinical depression like a leech fastened to your soul, sucking away every last drop of energy and will to live.
Because they have not experienced anxiety attacks like your brain being hacked by a virus and your own brain being turned against you as the virus viciously destroys every last bit of your sanity. They don’t know what it feels like when your brain, the one body part you rely on for navigating through this evil world, is crashing at the speed of light and yet you are awarded the speed to experience the torment in slow motion as you feel that terror of the inevitable blue screen coming when you WILL mentally break down and the world will see you for the weak and pathetic failure that you are.
And no one who hasn't themselves had a live audience with the Devil can hope to comprehend even in the slightest what meeting the Devil would be like.
Because the feeling of your own body turning against you and shackling you with iron chains cannot be expressed in human tongue.
Because when that anxiety attack pays you a visit and you PHYSICALLY feel your brain on the verge of explosion, when you can FEEL the expansion of the contents of your cranium and you realise that the expanding contents are pushing against your skull and you feel your head running out of space, when you feel like you wish you could just disconnect your brain like disconnecting a computer so that you wouldn't have to experience that mental torment… That feeling... cannot be communicated in words.
When the experience of being too tired to continue living, of being too depressed, physically drained, of a complete lack of motivation to shower or brush your teeth or even put the soles of your feet to the floor meets the anxiety of a thousand lifetimes of a physical abuse victim compressed into a single moment cannot quite be explained in any human tongue.
Because no one who has not lived it will ever understand what it is to be so eternally and unceasingly haunted by the voices inside your own head that you simply cannot afford a single moment of silence. And so you fill every waking moment with some “white noise”... be it the TV running in the background or the sermon you play on your phone by your bedside as you prepare yourself for your everyday attempt to sleep for the fear that even a minute of silence will grant the demons in your head the opportunity to take siege of your sanity forever.
Because well-adjusted and normally functioning human beings can not understand what it means when someone says that simply stepping out of the house is too scary a phenomenon or that merely speaking with humans takes more energy and courage than I have and that everyday social interactions are as frightening as a child being left alone in the dark, waiting for their parent as they feel the evil gazes of a dozen dreadful monsters in the dark alleys.
Because normal people do not understand that I avoid taking phone calls and prefer texting because sometimes even having to answer a phone call from a FRIEND can be a source of severe anxiety.
Because it's not that I DON’T want to live. I DO want to live.
But life just feels like a place where I don't belong.
It's just that... It's that feeling you get when you are a 9-year-old sitting at a table with a bunch of adults discussing politics, but all you really want to talk about is the latest episode of Dragon Ball Z. But no one else at that table knows or cares about “Dragon Ball Z”. The feeling that you are out of place? Not only the feeling that you do NOT belong at that table but that you probably belong somewhere else? The feeling that you have been wrongly placed in your current location… And so while you are still seated at that table, you are not really present at the table. You tune out the voices of the adults. You start looking around, hoping you will find one of your own species. One of your friends so that you can run off to them and start discussing with them your favourite animes and cartoons with just as much expertise and enlightenment as the adults discuss their politics with. Maybe more expertise. Definitely more.
It's that feeling that you get in that moment, wherein you are mentally aware that you have been seated at the table, but you do not belong there… that you have been wronged by being placed there. That's me.
I am very much mentally aware of the fact that I am seated at the table of life. But I just don’t feel present at this table... And so I tune out all the adults who speak in words I do not understand... Words of life, happiness, joy, purpose, meaning... I tune out all these words that hold no meaning for me and I look around in search of a friend… But sitting at this “wrong table”, I’ve realised that there is no such friend. For I am the only one of my species.
And so I am alone. And I am doomed to be stuck at this table where I don't belong. Alone. As alone, misplaced, and purposeless as a serving of kale in my kitchen.
But I want to live… I want to finish the stories I am writing. I want to be there for my dogson. I want to be there for the few humans for whom I am the pillar they turn to when in need.
But when breathing is a burden too heavy and existence itself is a life-sentence… Or should I say death-sentence? Well, when such is the prison of life, it just does not make much sense to continue this empty exercise… this… futile farce.
Maybe my stories aren't really worth telling. Maybe someone else will take better care of my dogson. Maybe those few humans who rely on me will find greater strength.
You ask me "Why not talk about it to my friends and family?" Because I can't explain to them how I have lost all sense of identity. Because it’s just too tiresome to look into their eyes and admit that I have no will to fight, that I feel no pain, and I see no light. The questions it will invite will be frustrating. The responses it will garner will be ignorant and insufferable.
Because when my friends are busy travelling the world, my depression and anxiety-stricken brain is researching tourist spots 80 kms away from me which would be suitable for suicide.
And yet you keep asking me why I don’t talk to someone about it.
But that question itself rings like an insensitive, self-righteous church bell that tolls for pleasing the ears of the church folk but only rings as noise and disturbance for the ears of the beggars starving and shivering in murderous cold within earshot of that same bell.
I am aware that your question comes from the best of intentions. But unfortunately, it is tainted with the inability of a mentally healthy person to understand or even imagine the afflictions of a mentally ill one.
Because if words could solve this... I think I would've found those words by now.