When episodes of depression hit, it’s like a ton of bricks have been dropped onto my chest. Anxiety causes my breathing to increase, become rapid and short. I curl into my covers and hide from everyone, escaped to my own little world of sadness. Uncontrollable tears stream from my eyes, staining my pillow case. The world turns into a dark place. It seems to always be cloudy outside when I start to have problems. The sun disappears along with my happiness. Rain even accompanies my tears sometimes, and that can be soothing in some ways. Hearing the rain beating on the roof of my two-story home is calming. My bedroom is on the top floor so the rain is loud and clear. My father knocks on the door, trying to coax me out; to eat something. But I won’t be hungry. At times like that, food is of no interest to me. It can’t heal my inner pain; the pain that consumes my chest. Hopeless doesn’t even begin to describe it. You feel there will never be an end to the suffering, which you are lost in this world and will never be happy again. The tears will never cease and you will eventually die. Sometimes I hope I do. Death would easily end my troubles. To be on my way to heaven, peace and happiness that lasts forever is much better. The only description of these times that can even come close to describing them are by calling them the dark days.
Sometimes my stomach will give me cause to stir, grumbling unhappily until I weakly rise from bed, still wrapped clumsily in my covers and make my way to the kitchen downstairs. The tears continue however, still streaming. It only makes me cry more when I see the pained expression on my dad’s face, his heart breaking for me, to see his child in such unbearable pain. How badly he wants to take the pain away from me, to bear it himself. But he can’t. He can only watch his child deteriorate in front of his eyes. He holds back his tears the best he can, tries to be strong for me. But I catch him wiping a tear away every now and then. He asks me what I would like, telling me that he will fix anything I ask for. However, when you’re in a state such as mine, everything tastes like mush anyway. You’re just eating to take away the added pain in your stomach. I can lose up to 20 pounds in one episode, which tends to usually last a couple of weeks. The crying and loss of appetite cut away at the fat stored in my body quickly. It’s not long before bones under my skin are more prominent that they were before. My eyes grow darker and sink into my face; my cheeks are pale as snow. My dad will fix me something, sit in front of me. He knows there’s no use in putting a full plate in front of me. So he gives me small portions. I stir the food a little, take a bite every now and then, stir some more, and then give up when it begins to taste like mush again. I push the plate away and get up, only to retreat back to my fortress of solitude. Lock myself away in that dark world again. Sometimes I’ll take a shower, preferably cold to try to feel something other than the inner pain. The shower is kind of like the rain, soothing because the water rushing over my skin making me feel like the pain is leaving with it. It only returns once the water is turned back off.
Once the shower fails, I just resort to crawling back into the bed, the cold sheets soothing me slightly. Tears begin to fall again, and I cry and cry until it grows dark outside. My weak body and exhaustion from crying makes me grow tired and I end up crying until I fall asleep. This repeats day after day, until I begin to come out of it, get back into my regular routine and start to heal. Hope begins to return and pain begins to recede. It is a slow and tiring process, but I start to become myself again. My heart heals and grows happy again. I return to my usual self, my personality warm and loving. Only until another episode strikes. But I enjoy the happiness while it lasts. My father becomes happy again too. His smile appears every time mine does, happy that his daughter is no longer suffering. His laugh gives me hope, hope that one day this vicious cycle will end. That I will be happy, free; that one day I will be able to live, not just exist. The sun returns and shines brighter than ever. I take in its warmth; enjoy the sweet breeze that sweeps over me. The birds sing songs of joy during the day and at night, the crickets and frogs serenade me with a sweet lullaby that sends me into a peaceful sleep. The calm after the storm. I regain my strength, and begin to live again.