A friend of mine described her depression to me once as feeling as if she were in a well. Sometimes she was near the top of a full well, floating in the water and could see the sunshine, but it was just out of reach. Other times she was at the bottom of a dry well and could barely see the sunshine, but would stare at it and hope it came closer somehow. And other times she would close her eyes and hope and pray that someone would realize the well was dry, and empty, and start filling it with dirt. Burying her.
I have adopted this analogy now. It fits the best, doesn’t it? When you struggle with great depression, as I have, sunshine (happiness) always seems out of reach. Sometimes it is so close you could ALMOST grasp it, but other times it is so far away that you forget what it looks like and just don’t even care anymore.
During the 5 years that I struggled with undiagnosed, horrific pain, I was in the well. At the bottom. Eyes closed. PRAYING someone would just fill it up with dirt already. I was done. I needed to be put out of my misery. I have always found it ironic that putting down an animal in pain is always considered the “HUMANe” thing to do, but to do the same for a human, is immoral and illegal. We are allowed to “play God” with animals, but not with ourselves. We can determine when an animal, who can not speak to us with words we can understand, has had enough and is in too much pain to carry on, yet we cannot offer the same relief to our fellow humans who DO speak to us with words we understand. I just don’t get it. And yes, okay, okay…there are legal issues…but I am sure that some lawyer out there is smart enough to figure out the logistics of legality around it. (insert lawyer jokes here if you must). But I am serious.
Though, now that I think about it, in hindsight, I am glad that option wasn’t available. I would have taken it.
There are days that the ONLY thing that kept me alive was my family. My children, in particular. My husband would have understood…he would have been sad, and devastated, sure. But he would have understood. It was knowing that my children would NOT understand that kept me alive. The thought of them going through life somehow blaming themselves, was more painful to me than the physical pain I was in. And that is the ONLY reason I am still here to tell my story.
I was planning on writing a bit of my story every day. See, it is like therapy for me. I feel like if I get my story OUT, it doesn’t own me anymore. I own IT. But, I am finding that writing this is taking a bit more time. A bit more reflection. And it has brought some feelings back to the surface that I never wanted to see again.
But, if I write them out, I release them. So I will press on. I will continue to get it out. And someday, I will have gotten in ALL out, and a new story will be created. One of happiness ever after.
I am close. I am now outside the well…dangerously close to the edge and peeking down in, but I am outside of it. And that is a huge step in the right direction.