I have people who read my blog. I know they do.
Some of them, like me, suffer from mental diseases. Others do not.
And being the sort of person I am, who believe all solutions can be found through open communication, I wonder - have I talked enough about it?
I've put a million metaphors to the way I feel. But still, in what I see - people either relate and understand or it does nothing to them.
Let me try again.
It is suffocation.
You are happy. You are fine. And then you drown, and you are drowning for no good reason, and you are clawing at ice but the air is gone and you are so cold and you are freezing and alone. You see people, you even see people down under the ice with you, but you cannot reach out.
Success. Someone breaks through. It is not just someone yelling accomplishments. They help you in a real way. This is medication, this is therapy, this is a good true friend and not someone just telling you to "be happy" or put your faith in God. This is someone who, perhaps, was there once.
You help, you reach, you stretch, desperate to break through to others. But then you fall again, and you are suffocating.
Success. You break through the ice. You climb up to the surface by yourself, shaking and uncertain and confused. You can't get out of the water but you can breathe, and that breathing allows you to stay strong and steady.
When you fall back under, you reach out. You grab someone else's hand and together you pound at the ice. Solidified by the same thoughts and worries.
Success. You break through, together, treading water and able to breathe and no longer suffocating. You do not let go until the ice forces you apart and back under.
It is a constant diving circle. And sometimes when you fall away from the ice, when you can't keep going, your only option is escape.
Some people swim back to the surface, to keep pounding at the ice. Others can't. It is not a matter of "they will not" it is a matter of they are unable to.
I want to be happy, to let sadness come in brief and ordinary clumps since it must come. I want to smile and laugh and stop wearing the damned mask I place on at least once a day. I don't wear it all the time like I used to, and I've made amazing progress.
But under that ice, along with everyone suffering, is a monster. And at any moment it can and will grab you and pull you down.
Jesus Christ can walk with you, but even God knows you have to fight your way to brief breaths of air. I have no doubt He pushed me up several times.
But if tomorrow I commit suicide - I won't, I'm in a good place, just bear with me here - don't judge me. Don't say I had a broken soul or something was wrong with me. Don't tell me I was selfish or wasn't grateful enough.
I lost the battle with a monster. Depression is cancer. It can go into remission, but it's always there. Waiting. And one day it may take me. It might not, but at the same time it could.
So next time someone turns to you and says "I'm depressed", don't tell them to be happy, to be grateful, to rely on their beliefs.
Hug them, and try and pull them out from underneath the ice. Support is depression's chemotherapy. And with support, more and more people will make their way out from under the ice.
But don't be surprised if I fall back in. I do that, sometimes. But it's been a while since I've fallen deeper than just under the ice.
...at any rate, I feel sick still, and I've been looking at the screen too long, so I'm going back to bed.