The Ways Depression Feels

Like someone has caught a fish hook in my chest and is pulling endlessly downwards. My flesh doesn’t rip, but it tugs and tugs and feels like drowning.

The tickling way my right arm starts to hurt when I’m holding in tears. Never the left. Always the right.

I’m aware of anything sharp enough to break skin. My eyes find those objects in any room, sometimes to avoid, sometimes to watch in a loving kind of visual caress. Sometimes my fingers find them too.

Exhaustion.

10 hours of sleep and exhaustion

12 hours of sleep and exhaustion

16 hours of sleep and exhaustion.

When my boyfriend tries to comfort me but his fingers start to feel like sandpaper on my skin as he rubs my arm. I can’t open my mouth to say stop. I’m afraid to say stop because I don’t want him to go away.

The changing color of my hair. Desperate bids to remind myself that I have control, at least over this.

Dripping snot into your bowl of ramen noodles because you can’t bring yourself to finish eating it and you feel incompetent that at 25 you still can’t feed yourself.

I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.

Tattoo needles on my arms, when I start forgetting who I am and whether I am loved. I remind myself with permanence. I enjoy the pain.

Lips that are raw from biting.

Fingers that are raw from picking.

Have you ever felt fear for months/years/decades straight? I have.

Imposter syndrome for days.

My boss tells me that I shouldn’t continue to pursue a project I’m considering, sends me in a different direction. I spend the next three days fighting off the conviction that I’m about to become unemployed.

Sometimes, I see myself choosing emptiness. I wait in the next room and hope you’ll come to me and hug me and wipe my tears. I know that I could walk the few feet to you, or call out for you. But I wait. I don’t know why I wait. Eventually you come, but it’s always too late because I chose to wait.

I’m encased in ice, or in air, or in my body. Something that keeps you far away. My mouth doesn’t work and you ask me questions while I struggle to make my eyes blink or move. I describe everything in my room, silently, inside my head, to try to remember what existing in the world feels like. Or to remind myself that there is nothing here to hurt me.

My brain is always hurting me.

3 thoughts on “The Ways Depression Feels

  1. strangetim says:

    You’re to blame for everything. The weather isn’t oppressive, it’s you. The job market isn’t down, you just suck at everything. You’re partner isn’t stressed because of work issues that followed them home, it’s you’re failure to be a good spouse/adult/person.

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