In a Dark Place

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I  know how it feels to hit a rock, to feel so helpless that you hate yourself. I know how it feels to look at yourself in the mirror and see nothing but pain and disappointment. To feel so alone in the midst in those that love you the most. I know how it feels to not want to open your eyes and wake up because facing the day is worse than sleeping away your nightmares. That my friend is the beginning of depression. At first it’s a normal low. You know, how it feels when you flank a paper you had your hopes up for. That way. Just another bump on the road. The kind that can be fixed by a laugh with your friends or a call to momma. But soon, the feeling comes back this time. Often. Before it would last a few seconds or even minutes, but now hours pass with you at the same place. Same dark and taunted place.

For me a bad breakup took me there. The kind that leaves you broken with a piece of you literally torn away. Or so it feels. The kind that makes you question what you once believed in, including yourself. In the words of Robin Williams, “I used to think the worst thing in the world is to end up alone. Its not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone”. The beauty, the dreams and aspirations. Your once perfect picture now shredded. Everyday felt like a nightmare and every night dragged so slowly. I remember one night that I couldn’t close my eyes to sleep and so I texted mama “I can’t take this anymore”. For those that know me such an admission would be such a shocker. In the eyes of many, I have always been the strong woman, known to have the bravest faces. But here was not only admitting to it but also feeling so helpless. Unknown to me that was the beginning of getting better. I needed help and asking for it made the difference. A few sessions to a shrink and it felt like I was taking back my life. Like a new beginning but with scars that dint itch.

I know what you may think. She must be very soft to not be able to handle a heartbreak or that can’t happen to me.The rising cases of depression among twentysomethings is not something that many don’t identify with. If not you, a friend, a neighbor, a former schoolmate, someone close to us has lost it to depression. Statistically, according to WHO, someone in the world commits suicide every 40 seconds which means about one million people commit suicide annually and for every person who dies, 20 more people unsuccessfully attempt to kill themselves. In short, very many people are in dire need of help.

Being a time of transition and big decision making, we in our twenties are more susceptible to depression. Every day we are met with choices to make, people to meet or let go. Its crossroad after crossroad. And more often than not it feels like we are alone in it or we are just doing it wrong. In all these, fear becomes a constant companion. We fear that we won’t get that job that we have dreamt of or that we won’t be better versions of our parents. Or we will end up with the people that we feared to or worse still, be so afraid of ending up alone that we don’t let go of the sketchy partners. This accompanied by our need to compare ourselves with our peers leads to a constant feeling of discouragement and despair and in no time we become half the people we used to be.

You may never know what breaks you. To some it’s failing academically. Some is losing someone. Some, like me, love issues. And so on. The story is always different. But all have one thing in common: that asking for help would sometimes make the difference between life and death.in such times its okay for someone else to carry you, hold your hand and lead you to the light. To save you from yourself.

One of the most invaluable piece of advice that I received at the time was in Claire Bennigan`s words.  That grief is a suitcase that sits at the bottom of your bed, and no matter what, without failure, you have to pick it up every day, take it with you. Some days it will be filed with rocks, and you don’t think you can carry it, and then other days, light as a feather. Looking back this was so true. The reality is you are there (down and low).And no matter how much you deny it, it won’t help it go away. But I know what does.Talk.It doesn’t have to be a shrink. Even that person you go to when you want a good laugh. Just make sure you talking it out. It’s not easy, but so is leaving behind your loved ones in heartache either.

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