You’re sitting in the most beautiful place. The sun blaring down on you, heating every inch of your skin. A slight breeze that blows the smell of nature into your face, every flower blossoming into full and powerful colours in front of your face. The birds and insects flying, scurrying, and singing to the morning dew. Slowly waking the world into this paradise we have stumbled upon, sharing the peace and sudden relaxation that is brought by the air around us. You sit there a while, watching the world come to life, imagine your breath as synchronised with the breeze in and out in slow deep motions of utter relaxation and contentment. But as you’re slowly coming accustom to the world around you, imagine your eyes adjust and there’s something blocking the view directly in front of them. It’s big, grey, and dark with cracking edges. Burn patches dragging your eyes to focus on pain. It becomes suffocating almost, you can see the world around this darkness carrying on without even batting an eyelid. The birds continue to sing and the insects fly inspecting all the flowers as before and the air is still the air but you, you don’t see it anymore. You can hear the joy of life continuing but it’s different now. You are surrounded by black fog, its thick. You can feel it smother the entirety of you until you collapse, breathing in the self-hatred, destruction and past pain that this fog brings to life. It attacks at every inch of you as you lay on the ground, unsure how to protect yourself from this hidden demon. When you manage to open your eyes they burn leaving salty rivers of tears running down your face, cheeks red and mouth dry.
This is depression.
I can hear the world around me live, laugh, and continue with their journey. I even walk among them but is it me? Or a dusty black fog induced me looking for the guidance to be content with the life I have created for myself. I am endlessly belittling my journey and where I should be compared to where I stand today. I look at everyone else’s in comparison to my own, convincing myself they have worked harder or got it better than I have. When I should know how hard I’m trying because I’m the one fumbling around trying to navigate myself while my head is clouded with this nightmare of a fog that doesn’t seem to clear no matter what we feed it. The black fog lifts every once in a while for a few brief minutes to give a taste of the world you could be living in, the person you could be without this thing hovering over you. Just like that, it flattens you at random moments – you could be out with friends or family, the gym or work, and then you are suddenly suffocating in dusty memories or harsh echoing tales in the form of thunder clouds, rain upon you leaving nothing untouched by your depression. You have no choice but to fall and let it take over every second it has already decided it will steal from you. Leave you with the knowledge and voices of joy still ongoing while you feel nothing but tears building. Sometimes you will know why the sadness overpowers you – from arguments and insecurities to grief and pain, but for me, the worst is when you have no idea at all. You are uncontrollably crying in the beautiful place but it’s not quite as beautiful anymore, its tarnished with a sadness built from a single word, or half a thought that trials through your mind burning at everything you once thought was perfect, joyful and even blissfully happy. Many of the perfect places I have found have a splash of sadness within them, a splash of insecurity and pain that suddenly changes the perfect into nothing, dates have been changed and destroyed with simple heartbreaking thoughts. I know we are all in a position where this black fog will come and attack us more than we are allowed to live without it. I know that mental health will be something we all struggle with over these months – we are left with ourselves, own thoughts, and I believe they can be dangerous for even the happiest of people.