Sometimes I can feel the storm coming. The darkness, the turmoil, the cold. It is a force to be reckoned with. Other times, the storm seems to start without notice and I know I just have to ride it out.
For me, my depression is a force of nature, both predictable and unpredictable at the same time. There may be a sign that a storm is coming, usually an empty or numb feeling in my chest, like my heart is not occupying the space at the moment. This is the equivalent of the dark clouds that make their presence known before a storm, and like real storms sometimes the clouds will lift without a single drop of rain.
Other times, there is little notice that a storm is coming. It often comes as hurtful words that sting on the open wounds of my insecurities and if spoken from the lips of a loved one, the pain is even worse. I feel that storms started this way are much more dangerous because the storm gains strength so quickly, and the waves become so powerful that I find myself gasping for air. Sometimes there is no time to breathe as the waves get stronger and stronger, sending me spiraling deeper and deeper into depression. Sometimes I will sense that a storm may be coming, but hurtful words are said and the strength of the growing storm increases exponentially. A storm like this could last minutes or hours, and the clouds linger long after the storm is over. I can never be certain how long it will last.
These storms that result from hurtful words are the kind of storm that could leave those around me searching for any sign of the sun, any sign of my depression waning, though it might not occur for days. For storms like this are fueled by anger, insecurity, and depression, along with many other feelings. After these storms I feel weak, and it can take days for me to feel even a little better. I am angry not only at the person whose words cut to my core, but also at myself for letting them hurt me again. They take what I am most insecure about and use it against me, but I feel that I have to give them another chance time and time again. It hurts me to think about cutting them out of my life, despite them causing me so much pain and distress. I know that I deserve better than this, but I am afraid to cut them loose and lose much more than just a person in my life. My insecurities make me feel weak, because I know that there are many things I need to improve upon, but my anxiety (and procrastination, which is associated with anxiety) keep me from making much progress.
There is only so much that I can do, and the feelings may still not be resolved. Sleep can provide me with temporary relief from the storm clouds and waves, but it is just temporary. Waking up to have the terrible emotions from the day before sweep over me all over again makes it feel as though they never went away in the first place. I often find myself shying away from the very things that might be able to make me feel better and instead the storm within me grows. I should be going to see friends, reading a book, taking a walk, or watching a movie I enjoy. These things usually help ease the storm for at least a little bit, but it may start up again. I instead hide from the world when I am depressed for I have convinced myself that nobody cares, that nothing will help, even though I know that I am wrong. There are so many people in my life that just want me to be happy, and it just feels like another thing that I will never be able to attain.
For me, an okay day does not mean I was necessarily happy, it just means that there were no storms. It may have been a bit cloudy, but overall there was nothing bad enough to make me feel useless.
Great days are rare, those are the days when I feel most like myself. Those are the days when I find myself smiling and talking passionately about the things I did that day, even if it wasn’t anything exciting. I can feel the happiness and I only wish that I find myself having more great days. They don’t have to be perfect, they could be good or great.
I just want to not feel numb or on the verge of tears a majority of the time. I want to be able to smile and know that it is genuine. My goal right now is to get through a week without a storm. It may not seem like a big deal to most, but to me a week without storms would be amazing progress.