When I woke up this morning, I did not see the sun. I thought I was dreaming. I closed my eyes and opened them to realize it was not a dream. My depression kidnapped the sun and is holding it for ransom.
Depression said, “even if you pay the ransom, you’ll never get the sun back because you no longer matter. You have given your power to me, and I am not letting you get it back.”
I feel my organs begin to disintegrate due to the loss of light and water. But, I cannot muster up enough tears to try to fertilize the cracks of my heart and soul that are malnourished from constant darkness and lack of attention.
I have people around me who see me smile and think everything is fine with me. But, when they ask how I am doing, they do not take the time to wait for a reply. I wonder, is it because they are not prepared for the truth?
I hide my scars of inadequacy, fear, self-doubt, and insecurities behind the smile I borrowed from the images my mind replicates to distract even myself from admitting I am not doing well. I exist in the abyss of loneliness. I need help! I’m depressed and don’t know how much longer I can hide behind the facade of happiness.
I want to scream, but my vocal cords are atrophied, so I cannot make a sound. I drown my sadness with the noise of my paranoia ringing in my ears. Depression is like a toxic relationship. You know it’s not good for you, but you are so accustomed to the volatility, you are unsure you can live without it.
I want to free myself from my depression, but I’ve lived with it for so long, if I allow my thoughts of happiness to escape, I believe I’ll suffocate and die. I want to live and not just exist, but who will listen and help me overcome my fears and anxiety?
I decide to take a rest from all of the noise in my head. I close my eyes, and when I open them, I see the sun shining. I wonder again, was it all a dream? I then realize someone took the time to ask me how I was doing and waited for a response; depression surrendered, and I am alive because someone cared enough to listen.
Marsha N. Lindsay
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer