How do you explain depression to someone outside of it? It seems unlikely that words exist to describe the way it can creep up on you over the course of a lazy Sunday afternoon, in total absence of anything really going wrong. True, some days it's shadow is present from the moment you open your eyes. Other days that shadow is weighty as concrete, pressing hard against you even as you sleep. But the most frightening times it comes seemingly from nowhere. It starts as the slightest twinge of discomfort, almost like an itch you cannot reach to thoroughly scratch. At first you try your best to ignore it, to simply proceed with the activities of your day as though all is well within your own mind, hoping beyond hope that the feeling will recede. When it doesn't, when in fact it just grows in the tiniest of increments you find yourself trying to rationalize it away. “I am having a good week, a good day. This is silly. Everything is just fine. I am beating this thing....it can't come back right now.” You doggedly attack your to do list. You check off item after item. You make yourself a sensible dinner as you remind yourself that for your mind to be healthy your body must have good food to work with. All your efforts fail and you find yourself falling off task, staring at the wall or out of the window, giving in to the dull ache in your chest, letting the fear wash over you, each wave larger than the last until the tears come. Then, if you are lucky, he will notice and stop to hold you for a bit if there is time. You let him wrap you in his strong arms and you curl against his chest with your ear against his heart., the warmth of his breath against your forehead.
I know that is is a good sign that the last few days have felt carefree and easy like days used to. I know that means that I am starting to beat the depression back once more. I also know that it will be a process of stops and starts, more and more good days mixed in with a few here and there that still carry with them that unbearable hurt. I am so grateful on those days that I can still nestle into his arms and let the steady drum of his heart lull me off to sleep, feeling safe as long as he is nearby.