Biographical Non-Fiction posted December 3, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
This was my life, but not any more

A Different Kind Of Prison

by doggymad

There are no bars here, there are no locked doors. The chains that exist within the mind are stronger than Krupp steel. The doors are surrounded by a force field of fear. The need to escape is high on the list, but the energy to run no longer exists. This is life with depression.

Let me curl up in a ball, let me return to the womb. Let me find a safe haven in this life of turmoil and grief. Let me out, let me in. Oh God, where am I? Where am I going? Where have I come from?

My thoughts are chasing each other in ever decreasing circles, my brain is shrieking for peace. But there is no peace to be found. I want to talk, but I cannot speak. I am sinking down in the quicksand of misery without even a twig to halt my descent.

Friends come and friends go, but I barely see them, they mutter platitudes and I nod in silent disagreement. What do they know? How could they know? I am where they have never been; I hope they never go there.

Food is nothing more than sawdust in my mouth, sleep a distant memory. Condescending doctors laud the efficacy of the very latest pills, while I yearn to call them out for the frauds they are. My hands shake, nausea is my constant companion. My kidneys protest painfully and are rapidly becoming overburdened with alien dross.

I want to go out, but I am too scared. I want to stay in, but it is too bleak. I'm stuck in limbo, no way up, but no way down. Security is created only by standing still. My pride has long since departed, the mirror is now my enemy. There is little point in trying to look good. My body is skeletal, my face ashen and wrinkled. No fine feathers or paints can hide the shadow that I have become.

Too weak to stand, I shun the shower, too cold to undress, well, maybe tomorrow. My hair, once my crowning glory, hangs limp and dull, a reflection of what is happening within. My shoulders are struggling under a lead weight. Is there not somewhere to leave my burden, if only for a while? Why am I suffering, where is my smile?

That old happy me is nothing more than a mirage. A vague shimmer of something, just out of reach. I repeat the same question almost each hour. Why do I suffer, did I do some grave wrong? My heart says 'you are a good person,' but my mind is a blur.

Depression does not accept any boundaries. You can be rich; you can be poor, bright or just average. This demon doesn't care. Neither age nor experience can ward off this pain. But as long as there is life, there is a degree of hope.

The one thing this illness cannot defeat is the determination of the sufferer to constantly push it aside and get on with the business of life. Unlike a prison sentence, depression does not have a release date. But for most people, just like me, it will very shortly be stamped with its 'best before date.'

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