Subject Matter Warning: This photo blog post contains images that may not be suitable for everyone. Themes are sensitive and I don’t want anyone who may be in a difficult time or suffering from suicidal ideation to be affected by this. This post is purely an interpretation of depression as I’ve experienced it. If you do not feel comfortable with these darker themes please close this tab and move on to one of my other posts.
The face of depression is lying alone at night with a small lamp, waiting and wishing for sleep to come. Trying to push aside the constant flood of memories that hit when your mind is idle.
Sometimes fearing you’ll never rest.
The face of depression is wanting that way out and seeing the things that could make that happen.
But realizing that you should do something more constructive like maintenance for your next day at the range.
Sometimes it’s seeing how a sliver of metal could make you focus on a different pain.
But remembering that it might just be better to give yourself a nice shave and brave the outside.
The face of depression isn’t a face. It’s the nondescript things that we suffer every day. The small tasks that seem insurmountable, the triggers and risks we navigate like a minefield that most take for granted.
The face of the depression is that mirror we wake up to every morning and reminding ourselves that we have to keep moving forward, regardless of the pain behind us and the challenges ahead of us.
One of the weirdest things for me is that my anxiety rose along side my depression. It happened very gradually to the point that I really didn’t notice it. Early on I just assumed it was because I never really liked crowds and was always more of a lone wolf. Over the last year or so I’ve tried to reflect and assess my sense of anxiety in more detail.
For some, the physical manifestations are more severe than what I experience. I’ve generally had tension, slight heart rate increase, the occasional knots in my stomach. I can generally tolerate heading out somewhere and being around people but sometimes it just takes one or two trigger stimuli to make me really uncomfortable. Public displays of affection usually have me turning the other way. Really cheerful faces started to make me feel sort of alien. That sense of “why can’t I just be like everybody else around me”. I think for a lot of folks battling anxiety there’s a pervasive fear that everyone around us sees the fear, the sense of not belonging and is judging.
It’s always a bit weird talking about clinical anxiety with someone who hasn’t gone through it. Most folks associate anxiety with nervousness but there’s that subtle difference of severity which makes anxiety so debilitating for some folks.
I happened upon this interesting photo series while looking for inspiration.
The creator did an excellent job in creating some very powerful metaphors about the struggle of those suffering from severe anxiety. The door full of deliveries eerily strikes a chord with me, as did the sink and the floss picks. The smallest social norms become seemingly colossal hurdles. I think to many, they’ll look at that statement and think “It’s all in your head”. The thing is, what isn’t in your head? Your perception of your reality is by definition there in your mind. Some of us are just perceiving things in ways that are harder to address than others.
One of the hardest things that I have struggled with during therapy is being to shift away from the negative thinking and focusing on the right path towards recover. I had this idea knocking around in my head for while.
Depression changes your view of yourself. You see the most negative things. In a camera I can just change the focus point and see the background. It isn’t as easy to do with the rest of your life.
To any of my friends who might be reading this, I hope this gives you a little insight into my expression of my depression.