Back in the Pit

It’s been 20 years since I first labeled the darkest moments of depression “the pit.”  It became a metaphor my friend Gina and I used to talk about how I was doing.  She’d ask, and I’d say, “I’m standing at the edge of the pit, looking down,” or “I’m sliding in at the edges,” or sometimes, “I’m leaving the pit behind.”

Lately I’ve been firmly back in the pit.  It’s dark, heavy, suffocating.  It’s lonely. It’s boring.  It’s no place I want to stay, but I have no energy or motivation to move out of it either.  I don’t even have much hope that there is a way out for me, not a lasting way out.

I find myself often thinking about ways to kill myself, even though I have long ago decided I won’t follow that impulse.  So why waste so much time thinking it over?  It’s like I am deliberately wallowing in the negativity.  Why can’t I move beyond this once and for all?  I can’t help feeling I am doing something wrong.  So much therapy and still depressed?  Anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, but still depressed?  What’s wrong with me anyhow?

I can read other people’s posts, and it all seems so clear.  They don’t deserve the suffering they are experiencing.  They should be gentle and as patient with themselves as possible. Life isn’t perfect but things do change, and in times things will be better.  I really believe this for other people.  And yet, when I’m in the middle of it myself, I struggle with making these messages apply to myself.

4 thoughts on “Back in the Pit

  1. Geez, I can so relate. Winters, usually hard for me went well this year, even this brutal one. The winter of my content, not discontent. But during this month of April, of change, of buds blooming and grass greening, I feel such despair, vulnerability, weakness, and an inability to ‘pull’ myself out of it. It’s hard to believe my usual explanations, that in spring my brain chemicals are rearranging to the longer days and I’ll be alright. But I will. And I hope that for you too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always a little suicidal, sometimes a lot. I’m almost certain I would never kill myself but I almost need the reassurance that I COULD if it got bad enough.

    Like

    • There are times when I can’t stop myself from thinking about it and contemplating the relative effectiveness of different options. But when I feel better, i just stop thinking about it, without making any particular effort. In that way, it’s kind of an indicator of how bad my depression is at any given time.

      Liked by 1 person

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