It is important to understand depression. Both the temporary depression that results from common life events, and the clinical depression or Major Depression Disorder as it is now called.
It is important to understand that within the gauzy haze of MDD, suicidal thoughts become a kind of white noise. It becomes the birds chirping and the car horns honking of the mind.
It is brutal. It's as though suicide wakes up with you in the morning and stares you down over your breakfast. It sits next to you on the bus. It gets in the passenger seat of your car. It haunts you. Taunts you. Trips you.
These feelings of worthlessness dig deep into your chest, piercing your lungs and stealing the breath you would need to ask for help. For comfort.
Depression leaves you wondering why. Why are you even alive? Beyond the existential "What is my purpose?" it tells you "it would be better if you weren't here." It convinces you that every party is more fun without you. Every day would be brighter without you. Without you.
Imagine the meanest kid you ever knew, hounding you because you were you. Because you are weird. Because you are black. Because you are gay. Because there is something about you that is bad. That hateful, cruel voice, through some awful miracle of brain chemistry has followed you from the school yard and knows everything. Every mistake. Every failure. It will never let anything go.
"Remember when you stole money from your grandmother's purse when you were eight? You piece of shit. Remember when you made your mother cry? You worthless, selfish, piece of garbage? You remember when you failed that exam? Why are you even going to school? You'll never graduate. No one will ever care what you think anyway. You can read all the books you want. You'll still be stupid. Worthless. Waste. Of Air. Why do you even eat food? Food is for people who can actually accomplish something."
That. All day. Everyday. Invading your dreams to yell at you for things you thought you had been forgiven for, or at least things you had hoped were forgotten. Grinding you down. Drooling acidic hate in your ears and making you wish you were dead.
This is the fight of your life. Everyday against a version of yourself that hates you because it knows everything.
And that's what you do. You fight. What choice do you have? You have things to do. More books to read. More TV to watch. Movies to see. Beaches to visit. Cities to see. Statues, parks, flowers and trees.
This is what you have to do. You have to make a list. You have list all the things you would have to say goodbye to, permanently. When you can't write them down anymore, because you can't see through the tears, write some more. Write it all down. You can't let go. And that's good. That's what you fight for.
Sunlight. Snowdays. Racquet ball. Ice Cream. Driving a convertible. Solving a math problem. Those times when you tell a really funny joke your friend can't breath, they're laughing so hard. A baby getting a hearing aid and hearing their mother's voice for the first time. Firefighters. Kids struggling to learn, to grow, to get out, to live life. Kids doing what you did. What you do.
Write it down.