How does it begin?
By Rhian D

How does it begin? How does depression start? It begins by feeling tired, and everything feels hard. First, I start to feel achy and listless. There is an overwhelming feeling that I don’t want to do anything, or see anyone. Then, depression and self harm can follow.

Putting One Foot In Front of the Other Is a Huge Effort

I lie on the sofa, and I feel like a hand is pushing on my chest stopping me from getting up. Putting one foot in front of the other, is a huge effort, and I know that depression is coming. The voice that whispers the uncomfortable truths: you’re fat, ugly, stupid, worthless, why are you alive, you don’t contribute anything to the world.

I Become Flooded with Images of Self Harm

Then come the floods of images of self harm. I can see myself slashing my wrists, pouring boiling water on my arm, or cutting my stomach. There is an attempt on my part to block out the onslaught, but it keeps coming. It wears me down, grinding me to nothing, until I can’t look in a mirror. Then, I can’t be with anyone and everything is black.

I can see no future, as I don’t deserve one. There is a feeling like I am vacant, lifeless, and hopeless. I am at war with my mind, and depression and self harm are winning.

This Battle Lasts Varying Lengths of Time

How long this battle last varies. Sometimes I cave, and self-harm. This prevents me from overdosing. Other times, I am stronger and I win outright. When it is over I am weary but grateful that I did not succumb. I am still here, and still fighting.

I’ve Had These Attacks My Whole Adult Life

I have had these attacks my whole adult life, but as I age they grow in frequency. While I used to have two months’ reprieve, I am lucky now if it is weeks. The last few months have been really hard, as I have changed my medication. There has been increased counselling, and I have had to take time off work. My fear is that I will not get back to how I was before.

I Still Fight On

I used to be scared that my illness would eventually stop me from working and living my life, and for the moment that is true. The weariness from the fight, and not knowing how I am going to feel every day, makes me feel like I’m controlled by depression.

I will continue to search to find the best medication and counselling for me, but I have a feeling deep down that I will never truly escape from it. The voice in the dark is always near. I still fight on, as we all should as much as we can.

Stay strong. x

1in4 mental health anthology

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