The scary horrible thing about clinical depression is that it can hit you any time, for no reason, from zero to freight train in a second.
At the grocery store I’m thinking about how to grill this salmon, and the next moment my chest caves inward like a curled up canvas of wax paper in a cruel gnarled fist. It’s the familiar feeling of drowning in slowly frothing grief, like disappearing in acid. It’s almost too familiar. I’m trying not to weep. I tell myself, Everything’s fine, everything’s fine, a cognitive trick to pull you out of the falling, but nothing is fine, nothing is fine. There’s nothing I can do. My basket full of trinkets is weightless and too heavy at the same time. I see people rushing to somewhere, but the illusion of significance slips away from me in a long, defeated sigh. I hate this part. My shoulders crumple because I’ve stopped holding them up. I can barely look at the cashier and I don’t remember paying when he hands me the receipt. I can’t turn on music in the car; it’s unbearable to turn the wheel. I’m someone else’s ghost in someone else’s body.
I wish I could tell you I snapped out of it. I wish I could say it gets easier each time. But I never know how long it’s going to be. I never know when the colors will come back. I never know if this will be the one that wins.
The worst thing about clinical depression is that it can do whatever it wants with you. It has no rules or code or fairness or dignity. I have every reason to be happy, but I’m completely debilitated and naked. It’s a cheater. It’s a liar that sells truth.
I know I have to fight for air. I know I have to crawl for every inch of territory that’s stolen. I know I cannot make decisions unless I talk with someone first. I know there’s so much worse going on in the world, and the war inside doesn’t even compare. I know. It doesn’t make the fog lift any faster.
I can only claw for breath. I reach for every scrap of surface to escape this tunnel. I can’t let it win. By the tiniest shred of sight, I crawl.