Benjamin Franklin once said “many people die at twenty five and aren’t buried until they are seventy five….”
Benjamin Franklin was right. The difference for me is that I died before I reached 18.
I often feel that I have died inside because of what severe depression has done to me. Years of suffering without diagnosis and the right treatment has slowly killed me inside.
As I have written previously, I now know that I had depression as a teenager (When my Black Dog started to appear), and this has continued my entire adult life. It was a long time of suffering, sadness, loneliness, and pain before I was ‘officially’ diagnosed (The first time the “D” word was mentioned) as having severe depression, by this time I had definitely lost my way, died inside, and didn’t know what it felt like not to be depressed. For so long I thought this was just who I was, I had no idea that how I was feeling was neither normal nor healthy.
Despite finding my soul mate and falling deeply in love (Finding true love amongst the fog), I still struggle to find myself, and despite being on a road to recovery I still feel somewhat dead inside. Once you have struggled mentally for as long as I have can you be brought back from the dead? Or is it that you see out the rest of your life dead inside, waiting to be buried?
Maybe with time my body can come back from the dead and start to feel beyond depression, start to feel who I am, find happiness. It’s easy to write, it’s another thing to find.
Since I have started writing, it has given me time to reflect a lot on the past, on my family, the friends I have lost along the way, but most of all I think about what my life may have become, who I might have been if I had been treated for depression when I was a teenager, and not left to suffer for many years. Who could I have been? How would I feel? What would life be without depression?
My recovery started out as a tireless hike through rocky terrain, it moved onto a tractor on a old beaten path covered in dense trees, I then found myself in a ratty old car filled with rust on a old country back road of gravel and pot holes, since then I have now reached the bitumen back streets, my car isn’t a Mercedes but it’s better than the Datsun 1600, I am in the outlining suburbs where it’s run down, filled with the unemployed, the single parents, the alcohol and drugs, but despite this part of my recovery journey I am starting to see the highway to a better place. And like the deadness inside me, the rough road I’ve been on is starting to improve, maybe with time and wellness my feelings beyond depression will be reborn, and I will find my place, and who I should be.
So yes, Benjamin you are right, but I believe with time I will no longer be dead inside, and I will be reborn, and live my days with new found inner strength, hope, and most of all, eventually I will find and feel what happiness is.