“One of the key symptoms of depression is to see no hope. No future. Far from the tunnel having light at the end of it, it seems like it is blocked at both ends, and you are inside it.”
– Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
This is how I know depression never leaves, that it is always there, always present. This feeling of utter hopelessness, of being completely trapped, of being inalterably stuck with no escape. It is a sound that never stops. A clamor that is never quiet. It’s like the steady, but constantly fluctuating sound of the ocean. Somedays the tide is low and the lack of hope is little more than the subtle murmuring of a slow moving sea humming in the background of an otherwise beautiful day.
But, then somedays the moon shifts, its darker side becomes visible, the pull of its gravity garners greater strength, the water grows turbulent and gains momentum. The fury of each wave as they crest and crash is a riptide of noise so loud that it drowns out every sound that stands in its wake. The hopelessness waxes and wanes, but it always persists and pervades. At it’s worst it becomes apathy and indifference, when any sense of aliveness slips into a lethargy of simply getting along, simply treading water.
I’m being shown more hope than I’ve seen in a long time. An end of the tunnel is beginning to open that I thought might be forever closed. There is some light where once there had only been black. But, tunnel vision is a condition that takes a long time to recover from. I can see a chance at something. Something altogether different. Something better. I can see the possibility of a future, but it's still hard to see past the tunnel. Its hard to see beyond it. It’s hard to see to the end of it much less what’s on the other side of it.
Sometimes it hurts. The light can be painful to look at when your eyes have atrophied from only looking inside the lack. But there is a hurt that feels so much worse. It is the agony of the light leaving all together. The terror of the tunnel closing in again. The thought of losing a future that started to feel so close. The loss of a hope that holds the promise of leading me out could be my ultimate undoing.
Matt Haig says “Depression makes you think things that are wrong”. It can be so hard to trust the truth. To trust that life can be good. To trust that the dark can dissolve. To trust that it is true, especially when you’ve begun to believe the lies. But you have to try… otherwise you just stay blind…