author / blogger


Chad Valley

Depression. It makes us isolate ourselves last we soak those around us when that black cloud over us inevitably opens. It stops us feeling. It makes us numb.

Understandably, when we alone struggle to feel much of anything at all, others around us often don't get much of a look-in - if they are even considered at all. When we lose that spark of interest in life, those around us can seem irrelevant. It's not that we don't know we should and do care for those around us, it's that we can't feel it. Much as we wish desperately this weren't the case, it can often feel that despite standing directly in front of someone we love, there is a complete emotional blockage; everything we need and want to say can't seem to find it's way out no matter how hard we try. This frustration eats away at us, this conversational impotence when we so badly want to verbally embrace them. When we become unable to say a simple "I love you" to our partner, unable to socially interact with our friends, we further isolate ourselves and feel more and more ashamed by our own behaviour.

With depression we often can't think of the future, because it can feel like we don't have one. We can fake a smile; we become pros at that, but we can't make ourselves 'be happy'. These periods of low-mood can last for weeks, even months; as we drift through days like we are walking through treacle with no apparent concept of, or care for, time.

It stands to reason then, that it's not easy being in any kind of relationship when one side can't feel. It's certainly not easy for the 'feeling' side either. They are the ones having to grin and bear our irritability, mood swings, insomnia, lethargy and catastrophising. Our partners, family and friends are the ones reassuring us when we assume they will leave us at the drop of a hat. People, however kind and good hearted can only put up with so much. Unlike Loreal, we generally don't believe we're 'worth it' after all.

Of course, these bleak spells and dark clouds don't, and won't, last forever. Like all clouds, even the blackest ones, they lift and the sun he finds a way to come out. (If you are vomiting pure twee-ness right now it's fine, i understand). The bleakness of our situation is overwhelming when we are in the midst of it and seeing a future beyond this can seem all but impossible. But like grief, when we are in the earliest stages of it and it hurts beyond belief, we can't possibly begin to see how the pain will ever cease. But over time it lessens, and even fades. It's still there, but it becomes easier to bear, less of an overwhelming presence in our lives.

Depression tells us we will feel this way forever. It tells us we won't ever feel again. But it lies to us. Depression tells us everyday that we are worthless. That our misery defines us. But like I said its a liar. A black cloak wearing LIAR. It's that shitty boyfriend you had aged 18 probably called 'Chad' who promised you carnations but just gave you chlamydia. It's those QVC channels who sell you a Hoover for just £99.99 But add on £99 delivery. It's a liar.

Living with depression doesn't mean the end. It doesn't have to end your relationships, your career, your life. It can utterly overwhelm but it doesn't have to last forever. You can take back ownership of your own body and mind. You can fight it by seeking help, talking to those you love and accepting you are struggling and that it's OK to do so. Reaching out for help when you're struggling with depression is never easy and I'm not for a second implying that it is. But isolating ourselves only serves to intensify our pain, and despite us not feeling it when under that 'cloud'; we are all deserving of love.

Except Chad, obviously. 

Kathleen NichollsComment