**Trigger warning – do not read if feeling vulnerable.**
On Sunday I felt the demon lurking, I always know when he’s coming, Tip toeing behind me like a child in the shadows. By Monday morning he saw an opening and sprang, pinning me down like a weight, & digging into my core until I was numb.
It didn’t help that I had an event to attend that evening. I tried to seem bubbly, but it was like something had frozen. I had nothing to offer.
On Tuesday I removed all the knives from the kitchen and placed them in the attic. Not because I wanted to end my life, but because I feared that I’d lost the ability to feel anything. Depression strikes maybe once or twice a year & with the numbness come the whispers. He isn’t threatening or aggressive, more cunning, “slam a blade into your left arm. Don’t think, just do it. Pain is better than this surely?” In many ways it’s true. I’d rather be in acute pain than feel, well nothing.
This is something that I rarely admit, because frankly it freaks people out. I don’t hear voices in the ‘psychotic sense,’ but I know what my brain is urging me to do. And to be clear, no matter how tempting, I never would. I see a flash of my mum’s face & I know that I wouldn’t. Not ever. I refuse. But that doesn’t stop the urge.
These days, I’m smart enough to recognise when I need help & I’m not too proud to reach out. “I wouldn’t ask unless I was desperate, but will you come over after work?” I messaged my friend Roo. “I’ll come over NOW.” (It was 2pm). We spent the afternoon talking nonsense & watching/giving live commentary on Vampire Diaries. The demon didn’t vanish, but he did retreat for a while. Turns out that Roo’s voice is much stronger.
The next day I ran, ate well and kept busy, both with work and house tasks. Again he still tried his whispers & I felt the weight in my stomach. But I keep moving (it’s what I do). Keep moving and ask for help when needed.
By Friday it broke, almost like a fever and I knew that I’d be ok again for a while.
Anxiety & panic attacks are my speciality (if such can ever be a positive). But depression knocks me on my face. I hope to get there one day, but for now I salute all of you who deal with this monster. I can’t imagine your strength. People talk about brawn and physical power… but what about the strength it takes to hold back a demon and keep going? Keep going to work, making sure the kids are happy and that food is on the table. That’s REAL strength to me… and I’d choose that person for my army any day.