Depression and the storm

I’ve frequently mentioned in this blog series the feeling of emptiness that comes with depression, or a better phrase is the absence of feeling. However the absence isn’t fully permanent. Think of it like this, imagine a tunnel that runs between the part of you that receives information and the part of your brain that controls your emotional response. Depression collapses the tunnel and blocks the path. This means most of the time your emotions aren’t active, they’re blocked by the tunnel collapse, but every now and again the build up of emotion is enough to knock down the blockage and get through all at once.
When talking to my friends I make reference to a “break down”, “A moment”, “crumbling” or many words to that effect, but rarely elaborate on what it means, when I use one of those words I am referring to the times where this blockade is broken. I know this is probably strange, I spent the first entry in this blog talking about how painful the feeling of emptiness can be, and it is painful, so why would I then complain for the small amounts of time when I get to feel again. The reason is that I don’t return to a state of emotional wellbeing, I am thrown into a storm. It’s not just feeling again, it’s feeling everything all at once. It’s massively overwhelming and this may be hard to understand if you’ve never experienced it, but when they happen, it is one of the most scared I’ve ever been. In addition to this fear, it’s also one of the most destructive sides of depression, when you mix together all of these feelings, they become something very similar to anger.
It’s so hard to describe these moments, I don’t know if I’m good enough with words to capture something that just feels like pure, organic terror. I’ve done research into this, and it is often described as like drowning. It’s just completely overwhelming, its like being surrounded and screamed at and having every thought or feeling or doubt magnified so each one has grown into something huge, large enough to crush you, individually. When this happens to me, theres no other real way to describe how I feel than just completely raw vulnerability.
I spend almost all of the day standing in the eye of the storm, constantly scared that I’m going to fall into it. The main reason I’m so scared of falling into it is not because of how painful the moments inside it can be, but because who else may be struck by it. When forced into such vulnerability, I react with aggression, and I’m not going to blame that solely on depression- it has always been character flaw on my part, but depression seems to have exaggerated it. I live in fear that I’m going to be knocked into the storm while with friends and then lash out against them. A large part of this fear is because of how easy it is to be knocked into the storm. It’s happened every day since I’ve been diagnosed. The force that pushes me does not need to be large. It can be as simple as someone bumping into me and catching me off guard, it can be me seeing my reflection and not liking it, it can be me getting paranoid someone doesn’t like me, frankly it can be anything. This has created a world in which I am scared of hanging out with people as I don’t want them to see this and I definitely don’t want to lash out at them when they don’t deserve it (and they will never deserve it). The combination of all of this is why I haven’t been able to attend any social event I have been invited to since been diagnosed (really big apologies to Izzy whose party is right now, but I couldn’t make it due to my depression being really bad today, Izzy will be getting a nice present when I next see her).
I hope this entry makes sense, it took much longer to write than usual. 3 cups of tea instead of the normal 1. If there is anything anyone wants me to write about, or any questions people have, please comment boor message me. Finally a massive thank you to everyone for reading and being wonderful 😀

1 thought on “Depression and the storm

  1. You’ve actually does made me cry. You’re so brave Stephen! I look forward to living with you next year and getting to know you better! ❤ xxx

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