The first stage of the attack is acknowledging that heavy feeling. You have to be aware that you feel bad (“feel bad” doesn’t capture the essence but again, for the sake of conversation…). What comes after this would be the questions. Why am I feeling down? You’d try to answer your own questions by attributing it to all the awful things that happened to you recently. You’d go back two hours ago, and then a day before, then even a long trip down memory lane. You would attribute it to every occurrence that you weren’t able to close – all those moments you wanted to explode because you can’t handle your thoughts and emotions but you didn’t. You kept quiet. They would resurface.
After this phase would be the shouting. You would hear a voice in your shouting “No, I don’t even care about those things that happened before” and you would feel worse because you know it’s true. You are indifferent of what happened. You have mastered the art of shunning down all the negativity from those circumstances. You would concede to the voice in your head that you’re not sad because of what happened. In fact, you don’t care about those anymore. You would concede that you are just sad. Except that you aren’t.
See, depression isn’t really about sadness. If it were sadness, it’d be easy to point out what upsets you. But depression isn’t like that. Depression isn’t being negative per se. It’s being resigned to everything. It’s no longer feeling. It’s not knowing. It’s the lack of grieving. It is “feeling bad” about nothing in particular, but when they ask you what’s wrong, you can’t answer so you just say, “everything” when you can’t hide it anymore.
The next stage would be the breakdown. This doesn’t happen every time. Sometimes, you go back to stage 0 wherein you get to smile because of some silly thing and you get to set aside what you went through. But a trigger comes and then you go crashing down to this stage. Breakdown. You start to have an episode. Sometimes, it’s shutting yourself in your room, sobbing. Sometimes, it involves cutting your wrists, punching walls, or hitting yourself. It’s losing appetite, and sometimes, developing cramps that you would associate with something else but really, it’s just your body reacting to too much stress. Sometimes, it’s not sleeping, or it’s just sleeping the entire day because you feel that it’s not worth to go through another day, because you feel worthless – that your existence would not make a difference and that your non-existence would create greater good.
You turn into a lifeless creature after. You start to feel nothing. The unexplainable pain hides itself somewhere and you just drag that heaviness around. Your thoughts are grey to dark. You are now cynical. You now have surrendered. You no longer care about yourself. You don’t care about not finishing what you have started. And it could hurt and you could breakdown again but the cycle repeats until you have nothing to cry about.
The last would be the ending. I originally wrote something* that was leaning to motivational but I decided to delete it because let’s be real, I can’t even motivate myself at times too. There are two ways this could end. I just hope you don’t get to choose. Because sometimes, choosing means we’re still in the cycle. It means that the option of killing oneself exists. I hope you don’t get to choose because that’d mean you’ve snapped out of the cycle — that you didn’t even notice you were already healed.
(*Original last paragraphs of this entry:
Now, there are two endings. You can continue to crash and let depression eat you up. You decide that healing is impossible. You decide that this is the best option – give up on life.
Or you can snap out of it, recover, and be stronger after all these things. How does this work? I have no idea, really. It’s just a long process of realization. I admit, I still have relapses at times but it’s okay. I manage. I don’t breakdown every single day. I don’t get tired of life easily anymore.
If you’re going through something and you’re reading this, I want you to know that it gets better. Even if it’s not working anymore for you, you’d be okay. Your numbness is worth it, trust me. Once you get used to it, you would be fine with whatever shit life throws at you. You would no longer care because hey, you’ve been there. Remember the last time you broke down? That was awful, wasn’t it? But remember how you’ve cried about it every fucking time and sometimes, it doesn’t make sense to cry about it again? You get used to the pain. I’m not saying this is a good thing but hey, it makes it easier to recover – to get back up. You may not find a reason to keep going but I hope you don’t have enough reason to stop.
When it gets so fucking bad and you just want to give up, ask yourself what you want to happen. Do you not say “I just want this to end”? If so, know that the pain could also end if you continue your fight. I told myself “I want to be stronger than this” and so even if I have been crashing every other day, I fought. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel but I kept going. I kept going because I wanted to be better. I didn’t have my reason except that I wanted the pain to end. And that if it happens to me again, I’d be okay. I can manage.
Maybe you’re looking for reasons why to keep going, keep fighting. I honestly don’t know. I just know that fighting matters. Trying matters. It gets you the farthest you could. I hope you can go as far and give life a chance too.