As I’ve tried to figure out how to communicate this latest season in my life, one of my soul sisters shared with me what I feel is a perfect description to describe depression and what it feels like.
Envision you are walking down a long dark hallway. The only light you see comes from below the dozens of doors lined along each side of the hallway. For me, each door represents a different area of my life - family, friends, purpose, spirituality, etc.. As you approach a door, you hear laughter, joy, fun and happiness. You hear encouragement, motivation, life. It’s something you deeply long for; to be seen, included and appreciated. To be loved. It gives you hope that you may be able to join; that you can have that, too! All you have to do is open the door...
But every time you try to open one of those doors, it’s locked. You jiggle the handle, throw your shoulder into it and maybe even try to kick it down but no amount of force will make it budge. So you sit on the other side, slowly slipping deeper into the darkness that is depression while you feel like the world is purposefully shutting you out.
You feel paralyzed.
You become your own worst enemy.
You feel shunned, judged and unworthy.
Even if you know these things aren’t true, the feeling lingers and blurs reality.
While these topics of depression and mental health are being discussed more in our society, I’m still feeling the sting of incorrect perceptions or judgements of what this entails.
It’s hell. Your own personal hell.
If you know someone managing this hell, please show love. Show kindness. Remember this analogy. You can be surrounded by the best people ever and still feel like you’re living on an island, shunned.
We’re all in this together.