*This article explores the mind of depression and suicide. This article can be dangerous, so please proceed with caution. This writing it not meant to make light, make fun, or endorse suicide. This piece is an open expression of ONE person’s experience with depression. These examples were given to help people who do not suffer from depression start to understand the impact it can have on one’s life, and to help those who do struggle with depression to understand they are not alone. If you feel the need to reach out or just need someone to talk to, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve pretty openly trudged through the deepest valleys of depression, and stood at the edge of the darkest pools of suicide, tip-toeing on the ledge with every intention of diving in. This isn’t a secret in my life. And I’m not ashamed of having journeyed to those parts of my soul.
Depression is sneaky, you know? It quietly creeps up on you. At first, it’s just a bad day. And then it’s two bad days. And then you’re not sleeping well, and you’re tired all the time. No one talks about that being a sign of depression. You’re eating to distract yourself, and you’re too tired to hang out with your friends. And then all of a sudden the world is against you, and you’re such an inconvenience to everyone around you, and what’s the point?
Why bother getting out of bed when you can’t do anything right? Oh joy, another day passed by. Another meaningless day. You have thousands more to go through and all of a sudden it’s not fair that you have to deal with so many horrible days because you didn’t choose to be born…
You didn’t choose life.
And all of a sudden you realize you have a choice.
You get to choose whether you wake up and deal with another day or you finally get some rest.
But good God push that thought out of your head because that’s for crazy people and you’re not going to kill yourself you’re just a little sad and get over it, you big baby. That’s for crazy people. …right? Stop, you’re just sad. That’s all. That’s all this is. You’re just sad. It gets better.
You wake up the next day with a new position on life and you decide today is going to be a good day. Everything is going to be fine. You’re not going to piss anybody off. You’re going to be good. You’re going to be happy. It’s going to be a good day.
But depression is like a land mine… quietly sitting there.
Waiting for something to agitate it so it can explode and destroy whatever is in its path.
You walk into the kitchen full of hope with a spring in your step. You go to pour yourself a bowl of your favorite cereal, and you realize your cereal box is empty.
And now your whole morning is ruined.
And now your whole day is ruined.
And now you don’t have the energy to try again tomorrow.
And now you’re back at rock bottom.
Depression is sneaky. It slithers up to you in camouflage and starts wrapping its body around yours. You think “oh this isn’t a problem, it’ll go away.” But it doesn’t. And it just keeps wrapping itself around you tighter and tighter and now your arms are trapped and it’s getting hard to breathe. You’re gasping for air and your thoughts are screaming, “HOW DID I GET HERE?! HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO ME?!” And all you’re left with is the decision to either let go and give up, or fight.
So you choose to fight.
Everybody chooses to fight.
That’s why it’s called struggling with depression. It’s a battle, and both forces, good and evil, are putting in all of their energy. Some warriors don’t win the battle though. Some warriors surrender because they can fight no longer.
But some warriors are lucky. Some warriors have people that will fight with them. Some warriors have an army. And sometimes their army has weapons. Sometimes the warrior doesn’t even know that their army is fighting with them, and sometimes the warrior can’t see the weapons their army is fighting with.
Sometimes it’s prayer. Sometimes it’s chinese food. Sometimes it’s just their time.
Sometimes it’s a coloring book or a new hobby. Sometimes it’s a quote. Can you believe that? A single quote can spark a domino effect of healing in a person.
During my ascent back up to normalcy I came across a project called the Depressed Cake Shop. The concept was simple. It’s a pop-up cake shop that sells grey pastries to raise money for mental health. The grey color represents depression, and the inside of these grey pastries reveals a bright pop of color to represent the hope within depression. As a depressed baker, you can see why this caught my attention.
So I stored the Depressed Cake Shop (DCS) in the back of my heart (not the back of my mind because I knew it would get lost there), knowing full well that I would return to it someday.
Someday arrived recently when a friend shared a story of a dark place they were struggling to find their way out of.
I thought about the Depressed Cake Shop, and I decided it was time. It was time for me to live not just for myself, but for other people who were struggling to live for themselves. And as I told people around me what I was planning to do, I received an obscene amount of unexpected support. As my plans developed I understood why this fundraiser didn’t happen sooner. I didn’t have the resources. I didn’t have the connections that I do now. If I had sponsored this fundraiser a few years ago, it wouldn’t have near the impact that it can have now.
Surprisingly, after just one week of planning DCS, I started spiraling back into a depression myself. I was constantly on the verge of tears, struggling to sleep and constantly exhausted, no appetite, with a consistent stream of nightmares. Honestly, I was floored. I was furious that this was happening to me again.
I spoke to a friend about a particular nightmare that I had, and she reminded me about my vulnerability during sleep.
“Keep praying against it, every time you go to sleep. I forget to pray for protection all the time before I sleep, but that’s literally the best opportunity Satan has to wreck you.”
And she was right. I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t thought of that before. Afterward, I walked out of my apartment to go pick up B from work, and some lyrics popped into my head.
“Everything runs on hope now.
Everything runs on faith, somehow.
And when the world has broken me down, your love sets me free.”
I thought, “Okay it’s a decent song. I’ll listen to it on my way to the coffee shop.” So I got into my car and turned the song on.
My body was instantly filled with the spirit. I realized in that moment that my spiraling depression wasn’t my own. It was the enemy trying to turn me into nothing again. He was trying to demotivate me from finishing this DCS project. He was trying to make it so I couldn’t reach these people that DCS will help. And I finally understood the impact DCS was about to have. I understood that the enemy wouldn’t be trying to destroy me as much as he was if this project didn’t have the potential to change as many lives as it does.
Once the Lord shared this with me, the cloud of depression that had been holding me prisoner for the last week disappeared. It didn’t lift away or lessen; it completely disappeared.
Now I’m moving forward with DCS with the full confidence that it is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
If you feel compelled to donate to the DCS project, please email me at email@example.com with the subject line DCS.