I have been tossing and turning the past few days, waiting for this depressive episode to pass. It’s hard to explain what it is like to people who do not understand. I have thought about it a lot as I have had to explain it a lot to the people I care about. There is no real way to describe what is going on inside your head and what is happening to your body during a true depressive episode.
My personal experience with these types of episodes has led me to compare it to the experience of getting a fever. It comes on slowly as your body starts to ache and heat up in response to something attacking it. You can’t really fight the fever; the only way to get rid of it is to bear with it and let it break. You lie down in your pajamas and surround yourself with comforting, nourishing things. Drink plenty of water, take some Ibuprofen, and hope that the fever breaks and passes quickly.
My episodes happen in a manner such as that. But instead of a fever heating up and breaking, I feel a sense of heaviness start to weigh me down. The weight of depression gradually increases until my mind and body feel so heavy, I can hardly move, think, or desire much of anything. At some point, as I lay in a fog of hopelessness and indifference to life, the weight starts to lift. I start to wonder about tomorrow, even a few more days out. Food starts to taste like food again. After a fever breaks, your body feels drained and weak. It needs to rebuild strength. As my depressive episode lifts, I feel mentally fucked and weak but I, most importantly, feel again.
I have learned not to fight my depression because depression always wins in those struggles and leaves with some sort of black eye. Like having a fever, I incubate myself from things that will make it worse. I do not go out, I do not drink, I do not stay up late. I have my own personal prescription of things that mitigate the weight like music, shows, and a consciousness of what it is that I am going through. These episodes are horrible at worst and uncomfortable at best, for myself, and for those around me who only want to make it all better. I remind myself that these episodes will pass. They have passed. They always do.
Tomorrow is already Monday.