I really wish I had the words to explain what this depression feels like. Perhaps I am experiencing some magical belief that if I could encompass it in language, I could control it the way I control my fiction. Or the more rational belief that by explaining it to others, I can come to understand it myself.
And I really don't understand the feelings. They come out of nowhere, profound sadness, self-loathing, hopelessness, surging up in my chest whenever I'm not fully immersed in something else like a good movie or a book or my Sims. I feel like I'm just about to start crying, but then I don't, and it's as physically frustrating as very nearly sneezing and then freezing on the threshold.
The feelings are accompanied by thoughts that I know aren't mine. I constantly think about — no, I imagine, I almost feel it — killing myself with knives to the more vulnerable blood vessels in arm, thigh, and neck. I imagine shooting myself right under the chin. I imagine going limp at the top of a flight of stairs or the edge of a roof and letting myself fall.
I'm not going to do it, I don't want to do it, but I keep thinking about it anyway, keep imagining it, keeping thinking what it would feel like...and mostly keep thinking about not feeling these feelings anymore, afterward.
I force myself to recite why I don't want to, apply Reason to the feeling: the impact it would have on my loved ones, the things I want to do that I haven't done yet; but then sometimes those things turn on me: I start thinking my loved ones would be better off without me, that I'm a failure and everything I try to do will fail. People will be sad and miss me, but only for a little while, that I've made no lasting difference ever, and I will not make a lasting difference by staying.
In those instances, it's harder to resist. I recite the next lines, that suicide is a coward's way, that it's a permanent solution to a temporary problem, that I'll miss the possibility that it might just get better somehow. Don't quit before the miracle. And I can't even be sure it will stop: I may very well continue to suffer after death, I have no way of knowing what lies beyond.
But that I can describe, and have heard described by other sufferers. What I find baffling and difficult to encompass with words is the lack of pain. None of this actually hurts, this isn't real emotional suffering. I know what that feels like, I remember what it feels like, and that's not what I'm feeling.
I always thought when people killed themselves, they must be suffering agonies of emotional pain, pain so bad that you'd do absolutely anything to make it stop. Pain like a kidney-stone, or a gunshot wound, or being tortured. But it's nothing like that.
But what is it more like? I just can't come up with a simile, a metaphor, an analogy. And I'm particularly good at creating analogies. But this just defies my ability to describe things.
Perhaps it's a skewing of perspective, magnifying the impact of minor pain in some way? Or perhaps it's a sort of ghost feeling, some chemical trigger that imitates or echoes emotional pain, a passenger of a feeling without its vehicle? But isn't real pain and so doesn't hurt like real pain?
Or is it real pain, after all, and I am just unable to feel it fully? The way I don't feel joy, or hope, or love as acutely and completely as I used to. That the thing causing the pain is also giving an anesthetic, like the dentist does with a needle full of Novocain.
I don't know. All I know is that I want it to stop so badly. Not badly enough to do anything to stop it, but I feel like I'm approaching that level. How much more attractive will death be if I did want it that badly? And that scares the hell out of me. I don't want to die, I know I don't. But when it's your own body telling you something, how easy it is to believe what it says.
I'll hang in there. Keep fighting the fight. I just wish I understood what it was I was fighting.