The following text was taken from the book "Depression" by Dorothy Rowe.
But I have adapted it to fit with my life at the time of my depression.
Because Dorothy understands Depression so well, I thought she was writing about me...
I would like to take this opportunity to thank her by helping me understand what my
illness was all about.
My Destructive Indoctrination
Depression for me was a period of unhappy withdrawal, an uncomfortable hibernation.
And I didn't know it.
No compassion could pierce the wall that separated me from the outside world.
Depression is a prison where I was both, the prisoner and the cruel jailer.
The turmoil of my feelings was so great, that it was impossible to know where to begin to describe them.
So I stayed silent.
I was enduring a lonely isolation.
Inside the prison (depression), I had the feeling of imminent death.
When I told my friends that I was damned, they told me I was not, that God was not like that!
They did not know what it was like! "The Fear". In the middle of the night,
When all was quiet and I could only hear my thoughts!.
The fear of God in my life! Undermining my confidence, until the smallest decision;
What shall I think? "What shall I wear? What will I eat? Who will I talk to? Became an impossibly difficult task.
Sometimes the fear brought guilt, I felt as if I'd failed as a mother, sister, wife, daughter, friend.
I felt guilty for being depressed. I longed for death to bring me peace, and feared death,
that it might bring something worse than life itself.
I hated myself for being unable to love my husband!
Irritable and miserable, I pushed people away from me.
I tried to smile and be ordinary but the pretence is so wearing and inside I was silently screaming.
My family couldn't understand my anger, fear and emotions!
The smallest thing like an unmade bed, a loud noise, could provoke me into a rage.
Till it got that it didn't matter anymore.
I had so many mood swings.
I thought that when they got angry with me, that they disliked me and would never forgive me.
I very rarely forgave myself.
I very soon spent more time in my bed. I was weak and scared. So I built a wall around me.
I felt an empty void inside me.
Felt guilty so punished myself by staying in bed as much as possible.
Felt frightened, angry, guilty for feeling angry.
Blamed myself, felt more guilt, anger, fear and so on forever and ever.
It felt like no-way out, and I forbid myself the key that would unlock the door.
I would know no peace until God forgives me and I forgive myself.
The one torture (punishment) that I allowed myself was "Solitary Confinement"
When Isolated I suffered. The longer I stayed in solitary the greater the torture became.
I thought I deserved it!
And didn't want to face anything anymore.
I went through most of my life believing that I was not good enough!
I was always being told that "I was filth before God".
I felt nervous with outsiders, just in case they took the Lord's name in vain,
or made a joke about God.
I dare not laugh, always solemn. I didn't want to put my life or rather 'soul' at risk!
The burden on my heart became the prison walls of depression.
I could not find any relief or peace in my life, the feeling of fear and hell NEVER went away.
I lost interest in everyday things, cooking, cleaning, reading, eating and TV.
I felt very sensitive and hurt easily. People did not understand how I felt.
I didn't know I was suffering from depression! I just felt so alone.
I could not cope anymore. I stopped eating and lost a lot of weight and no one noticed.
That made me feel more worthless, but my family were to wrapped up in their own lives and I suffered silently.
When I realized that I was depressed! I was afraid.
Afraid that I'd plunge further into a bottomless pit of complete destruction, madness and death.
Dangers threatened me if I left this depression because I'd have to start dealing with things.
I didn't know how to deal with things anymore!
It wasn't comfortable but at least it was 'safe'! Decisions, Decisions!
I was scared to make changes, especially in my marriage;
I found it hard to admit that my marriage was not everything that I wanted it to be.
I knew I had to stay within the marriage in the eyes of God!
The effect depression had on my body was bad.
Tremors, headaches, stomach pains constipation, weight loss, forgetfulness etc.
I had panic attacks, thought that I was dying with any and every pain I had!
I ended up in a psychiatric Hospital from Dec 1998 -Feb 1999.
I had to fight the demons! But my demon was God!
I look forward to the day when the prison walls come tumbling down.
One day I will look around me and find the walls have gone
and the world is right there, near me and that I am part of the world.
Being more aware of the present, instead of thinking of the past or worrying about the future.
Just paying attention to the here and now, the flavor of food, the sound of the birds,
listening to people, just being part of the "normal world" again.
Susan Casey 1999
A CRY FOR FREEDOM
A million thoughts race through my head.
Can't concentrate, on what's being said.
Don't feel hate, don't feel love.
Don't even care about God above.
What's happening around about?
Don't want to know, just blank it out.
Deaf ears and tunnel vision.
Has become a conscious decision
Whose life is it, without a doubt?
Same routine, day in day out.
I've got to get out of this dark hole!
And pray to God to save my soul.
I won't feel guilty all the time.
Just to live! Is that a crime?
I need forgiveness, a need to be free!
Please! I only want to be me!
Susan Casey (c) 1999
Frantic thoughts inside my head
Especially when I'm in my bed
In the darkness, no one can see
Inside my head. but only me
It's like the wires have crossed and fused
So many colors all bemused
One by one, I'll put it right
I know it'll be a long hard fight
What will I do? Where will I go?
I'll have to learn to take it slow
Because only I know what's in my head!
Especially when I'm in my bed.
Susan Casey (c) 1999