Depression speaks to me every minute of every day, from the time I wake up until I eventually fall asleep.
Sometimes it whispers in my ear and sometimes it shouts so loudly the words reverberate inside my head and I’m sure that someone else must be able to hear them too.
Sometimes I am strong enough to block it out but other times no matter how hard I shake my head or cover my ears or turn up the television to drown it out I can still hear it.
Always depression is there, inside my head and I can’t escape.
It says that I am stupid and useless.
That I am weak and pathetic and feeble-minded.
That I am fat and ugly on the outside because I’m ugly on the inside.
That the only thing I can be relied on to do is fail.
That I feel panic and fear and sadness because I deserve to.
That everything that happens to me is entirely my fault.
But even though it says these awful things depression makes me believe that it tells me these things for my own good because I need to know how other people see me and what they really think of me so I don’t get false ideas about them actually liking me.
It would be so silly of me to think that colleagues and relatives and health professionals actually care; to think that they’re doing anything other than their jobs.
That when I was pregnant the various doctors and nurses and midwives and psychiatrists put in so much time and effort into trying to make me well because they knew that if they didn’t it was unlikely that Squidge would actually be born. That my GP and counsellor and health visitor are only trying to help now because otherwise any harm to Squidge will be on their heads.
Depression tells me that it is the only thing that really understands who I am and what I’m like and that’s the way it should stay. No one else really wants to know and they definitely don’t want to help, regardless of what they say.
I’ve spent so long being beaten down and crushed into submission that there are days where I just don’t have the strength to argue. The years I’ve spent with depression telling me these things means that I now believe them implicitly and I don’t even think about disagreeing because I know that depression says these things because they’re true.
You are horrible and hateful.
Yes depression, I am horrible and hateful.
People don’t really like you, they just help because they’re decent people and they feel obliged to.
No depression, people don’t like me.
You’re a terrible wife and mother; Squidge will grow up to hate you and the Northern One will resent you for everything you’ve put him through. The Northern One only stays with you because he’s become so entangled that he doesn’t know how to leave but one day he will.
I’m sure you’re right depression, you wouldn’t say these things if they weren’t true.
To be honest, you’re just a waste of space. People would be far better off if you weren’t here. and if you were gone the Northern One could find someone who deserves him and who could be a proper mum to Squidge
You’re right depression, I’m sure they would.
You’d better start making plans then hadn’t you? Just make sure you don’t make too much mess, you’re an enough of an inconvenience as it is.
I suppose I should depression, I’ll try and minimise any mess.
Don’t worry about upsetting anyone, they won’t shed any tears for you or miss you at all. They’ll just be annoyed about the extra work and the tying up of loose ends. Once that’s all over they’ll go back to their lives which will be so much better without you.
People tell me that I’m strong and brave; for being so open and for writing so honestly but depression’s voice is louder and it’s words are more convincing, almost beguiling. I accept compliments and say thank you for kind words but all the while depression tells me that people say things not because they mean them but because they feel pity for me.
Depression say things to me that, if I heard anyone else I knew saying them about themselves I’d do anything it took to help them get rid of such awful ideas about themselves because they simply aren’t true.
But for me it’s different.
I know these things are true.
Depression says so.