The Demons Of Mental Illness

depression is a shape-shifting, ever-present monster. it is a monster that many of us are forced to battle. some of us are able to slay the monstrous beast, while others are swallowed whole, sacrificing life and limb to its gaping jaws; meanwhile most of us are stuck in an eternal stalemate, neither winning nor losing, constantly battling. 
depression, in it’s most evil state, takes a different form for everyone. mine, a fog obscuring all of my senses and causing me to heave and choke, unable to catch my own breath. it is a python as thick as the trees, squeezing the life out of me, tightening with every move I make. it is a cancer in every one of my cells, a dull ache that cannot be numbed. it is every one of my worst fears, realized, and ready to pounce as soon as I wake each morning. it is a constant IV drip paralyzing every muscle. it is the knowledge that the monsters could get to me; the pain only stopping if I were to die.
despite all the imagery, it is not poetic. is it not lyrical. it isn’t a heroic effort to maintain a grasp on reality and sanity. there is no plot twist, no knight on a white horse, no epiphany followed by an orchestral swell and rolling credits.
my depression is not being ble to get out of bed for days. it is turning my phone off unable and unwilling to speak to anyone. it was avoiding all social events because the idea of socializing seems nearly impossible. it is a bottle of vodka and a fist full of pills taken in at a furious rate in attempts to numb the pain. it is losing my girlfriend, my friends and family; all unable to reach me in the depths of my mind. it is night after night of restless, soul consuming insomnia paradoxically paired with bone deep exhaustion.

it isn’t poetic
it is lonely and terrifying

I have been prescribed anti-depressant after anti-depressant, each one worse than the last. it’s as if they obliterate any ability to feel anything, leaving a black void that allows the suicidal thoughts creep back, screaming to the forefront of my mind without anything to distract me. I swallow handfuls of pills desperate for even a short slumber, only to wake the next morning not knowing whether I should be relieved or disappointed.

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