I was inspired to write this post after reading When Depression Wants You Back and I owe all credit for the originality of this idea to Emily-Jane Clark. She perfectly encapsulated everything I have been feeling over the past couple of months and so I decided to write my own version.
WHEN DEPRESSION WANTS YOU BACK
I have this ‘friend’.
I haven’t seen her for a while. Two whole years in fact, but she turned up uninvited one day in April this year on the doorstep of my university house. As I opened the door and saw her with her suitcase, she smiled smugly and I sighed. She had plans to stay awhile.
Even though I should have told her where to go and turned her away, I didn’t, and she barged her way in. She needed a place to stay, she told me, and she would be coming to uni with me as well.
I say she’s a ‘friend’ but really she is just someone I know and someone I’d rather not ever see again. She has always had the habit of turning up just at the wrong time and getting in the way.
Like when she turned up in 2014.
Like when I was writing my dissertation back April this year. She could have come at any other time but she chose then. Except she couldn’t. It’s when I’m getting stressed or really looking forward to something that she turns up. Just to ruin it.
It’s the last week, I’m getting stressed with trying to finish and I’m alone in the library. She walks by casually and sits down at my table, then she leans over my shoulder and whispers in my ear: “it doesn’t matter if you finish it because they aren’t going to like it anyway.”
Or when I’m trying to keep positive about my job and she walks in as a customer would and tells me I’ll be stuck there forever, that everything I do is wrong and I will always disappoint people.
She tells me to stop getting my hopes with things, that if I fail once, I’m going to fail again.
She tells me I shouldn’t bother being a Christian because I do a rubbish job at it anyway. I give up on God the minute something goes wrong and I can’t keep myself disciplined. How am I supposed to teach young people when I am a massive hypocrite?
She tells me to stop searching for a career because I’ll never find one.
She tells me to give up my dream because it’ll never happen for me.
Now that’s she’s here, I can’t get her to leave. She comes with me everywhere: she rides in the passenger seat of my car; sits opposite me on the train, resting her boots up on the seat next to me; and always walks a few steps behind me. Sometimes I can feel her breathing down the back of my neck at work and when I’m at church.
Because she’s been here such a long time, sometimes I forget that she’s even there. She’s become part of my life again.
But what I need to do is learn how to manage with her living with me, either that or find a way to kick her out. Make her leave me and never come back. I don’t think she is going anywhere soon because I know what she came for. She wants me back. Depression wants me back.
When depression wants you back, punch her in the face. Tell her she can’t have you.
Even though she makes me feel terrible, what’s important to remember is that when depression wants me back, depression doesn’t have me yet. I am still not quite in her grasp.
When depression wants you back, remember, depression doesn’t have you yet.
Life without her is better. Much better.
When she’s not around, I am happy.
When she’s not around, I am ok.
When she’s not around, I am thriving.
Now that she is here, I am merely surviving. But survive I must. It is so important to not give up.