Isolation of Depression
Depression makes every one of us believe we are alone. Our brains isolate us during depression spirals. Depression keeps us from saying how we really feel. Depression tells us that no one cares and keeps us isolated.
I am unsure if that also has something to do with growing up abused. The abusers control and manipulate their victims through isolation. It certainly did not help to have my brain develop under such circumstances. So, it may be possible that my depression spiral is different because of the abuse I endured during my brain’s formative years. On the other hand, I have an odd feeling that it is not that unusual.
No matter how my brain or anyone else’s got to where we are with depression, there is a feeling of loneliness. It can be hard to share with others what is going on within our minds when depression has begun to squeeze. So our minds tell us that no one can help and no one will understand, which feeds into our loneliness.
As the depression spirals continue, that message that I am alone, that we all who have depression are alone in our misery, increases in frequency and volume. Until all we can see is the darkness that exists, we know (as our brains like to tell us) that we are broken in our loneliness. And who wants a broken human being? No one, that’s who.
And on and it goes. The things that our brain tells us to keep us in that cover of darkness. And this time of year, with the holidays, it’s the worst. But, unfortunately, it also seems to be the time of year that people are less patient and understanding.
And I was in one of those spirals (spoiler alert – still in it) when I wrote about how it feels.
The holidays are the hardest time of year for those of us with depression, anxiety and complex PTSD. If you or someone you love is struggling please help them seek out professional help. I engaged in therapy to understand and work through what I could do. And you can too.
I recommend Online-Therapy.* Encouraging therapy is their first step in healing.
Expressing How It Feels
The poem I wrote and then posted on social (in the box below) about how depression spirals feel. It’s like being constricted until there is no room left. And even after squishing myself as small as I can, I still can’t breathe. I can’t move and cannot find my way out of that dark place. For it has surrounded me, calling for my surrender.
That poem resonated with a friend who reached out. He had been feeling off, and this poem gave him the words for his feelings. I know that not all of my work resonates, but when it does, it makes me feel less alone. By writing about my depression spiral, I helped someone, and they responded to me, making me feel seen and understood.
Perhaps I can reframe it instead of a depression spiral into a friendship circle or something? Because once we start sharing our truths, we realize we aren’t alone. The following poem represents the acknowledgment of having people who understand how it feels. I wrote it because of my friend’s response.
In a moment of quiet, which is unusual with depression, you will catch a glimpse of someone fighting a similar battle. You notice each other simultaneously, nod, and then turn toward your darkness to keep fighting. But now you have renewed strength because you aren’t alone. And you know that now. I know that now.
We, Who Stand
A paltry figure
before the dark expanse.
Alone in battle
against an invisible foe.
A familiarity –
upon this precipice,
Is it forever this time?
This time to be completely engulfed,
the fighting spirit
to stave off
an inhaled pause,
Shifting shadows reveal their
Alone no longer,
a kindred nod,
a breath held, at last
In the dark, no more.
We, who stand.