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.