Black and Blue Silence: Escape from depression’s spiral calls for connections, heroic quest for hope

By: Abbey Carlson

I stare at the ceiling. Inside of my black backpack, I have three pages of homework to complete. In the kitchen, the microwave is beeping because my food is done. On my bedside table, my phone is buzzing from a text I should answer. In the bathroom, the shower is calling to me because I haven’t showered in two days, and I know I should.

But I don’t move.

I lay there and stare at the white plaster and think of all of the mistakes I made today, all of the things I did wrong and how ashamed I was to be me. I ponder the consequences I’ll have to deal with for not completing my homework. I wonder why I am who I am and why I couldn’t just sit up and do it. It makes hate run through my veins for myself, and anger boil in my gut.

But exhaustion eventually takes over, and I drift off to sleep.

This is depression. White walls and murderous thoughts. It is not poetry or black eyeliner and black clothes; it is not breaking a nail or getting dumped by your boyfriend.

I’ve been dealing with depression for a little over three years now. It has been a losing battle, but somehow I am still standing here today, and sometimes even with a smile. It can best be described as a really, really messed up roller coaster.

Some weeks I will go through periods of being happy. I will have an unusual amount of energy and will fall in love with my life over and over again. Nothing can get me down in these days, and I feel like I’m flying above all of the sadness and hurt I have grown accustomed to.

Then I’ll fall. It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion when this happens. I will wake up one day and be unresponsive. It’s like a switch has gone off in my brain. My body will be tired and my mouth will betray me. It won’t smile correctly and won’t say the right things. My mind will go blank. It stops working right and will show me a brick wall.

The brick wall is the worst part. I’ll spend days and days trying to climb over it, to get through this block in my mind that keeps me from living a normal teenage life, but it scratches and burns and fights back. It’s concrete, and it locks me in.

When this occurs, going to school isn’t an option. Investing in my interests like reading becomes a dream. Laughing along with my friends and doing normal, day-to-day things becomes an impossible journey that pushes me down every time I stand back up.

People who deal with depression usually aren’t loud about it. Some are even ashamed to tell people since it isn’t a thing you can physically see, and traditionally  it has been looked down upon. But in these past few years, people are starting to stand up. They are showing their scars and saying, “Hey, I know I’ve been to hell and back, but here I am still standing, and I’m really effing proud of it.”

Being a victim of this mental illness, showing people my metaphorical scars is definitely challenging. It takes a great amount of courage and strength to even admit that something is wrong.

Depression messes with your mind and makes you see things in a dull shade of grey. Everything that happens to you or your peers, it’s your fault. Guilt, blame and fear pile up on your shoulders like 50-pound weights.

With all of these side effects depression causes, it’s nearly impossible not to crumble under the pressure of it. You get this idea that you aren’t normal, that you’re a screw up and anyone who finds out how sad you are will look at you differently and look down upon you.

But that’s not true — none of it. Being depressed doesn’t make you weak; in the end it makes you stronger. It puts you through your own personal hell, but it’s your own strength and willingness that gets you through it.

If you are currently struggling with depression or have in the past, there are always people to talk to. Whether it be a family member or friend, talking always helps. It makes what’s happening that much more real and gives you hope that you can get through it — that maybe this life was meant for you, and you don’t have to surrender to the luring darkness.

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