What do you feel? How do you feel?

For years, my dear non-depressed friends have often asked me this question.

I hate this question. I don’t know how to answer it.

However, in the process of understanding my condition, of healing, of being able to open up and finally perhaps helping someone going through something similar I asked myself.

What do you feel like?

Nothing.

I seem to have come to the stage, where at a glance one would say that I feel nothing. I am aloof and asocial. I stay away from the limelight, and lurk in the darkness. Silently. People often don’t realise that I am in the same room.

However, if you looked closely. If you dared to. You would see a girl struggling with her new found adult hood
Trapped, in a cage that she built herself. The cage is made of her despair,of societal pressure to fit in, her failures, her negative self perception of everything around her… most importantly herself.

Her despair continues to grow, so does her imprisonment.

The cage and the caged can no longer be distinguished.

What does depression feel like?
I wonder.
I first tried committing suicide when I was 9. When I tell people this, they mock horror. They wonder what went through my head. What drove me to take my own life. Wasn’t a happy loving family enough?

Depression doesn’t discriminate amongst its preys. From the outset one could be a happy person, with all comforts and reasons to be content. However, on the inside there would be storms one would not imagine.

Silences that haunt, failures that taunt.

I was 9. And when I really think.
I felt nothing really.

Depression is the routinisation of pain.

I was in pain. I had been in pain for as long as I could remember. There was no end to it. Like an ocean that stretches for miles and miles across, no horizon and no shoreline.

J.K.Rowling, the writer of the world renowned Harry Potter series, derived inspiration for the Dementors from her depression.

Dementors feed on happy memories.
They suck out all the happiness leaving you with self mortifying despair.

Bullseye!

On a general basis, I feel nothing.
But when I feel, I feel all at once.

I am like a surging volcano, unhurt by the waves but
I am also the barren sea shore ravaged by a tsunami of emotions.

I have been all of this and much more for 11 years now, and despite calling myself a ‘writer’
I cannot put words to describe what I feel.

Just like the question, the repetition of the process has made it routine, normal, indistinguishable.

What do you really feel like.
Nothing or Everything?

– Fictionatrix

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37 thoughts on “What do you feel? How do you feel?

  1. Just stumbled across your blog after seeing that poem on shadows, and wanted to say that it’s okay to find it hard to describe depression. As someone who has fought both anxiety and depression since I was 11, I know what that apathy feels like. The complete lack of emotion, is often welcoming and sickening in itself. When we feel nothing, we strive to feel, and once we start feeling, it is often too much feeling, leaving us wanting to be numb again. This cycle, and the coming to terms mindset with the pain (routinization of pain, as you worded it, was perfect) makes depression once of the hardest things to deal with. And the best part? Theres no reason. It simply is. While there may be triggers the hardest part is realizing that you will be sad for no reason, and accepting this as part of who you are becomes one of the hardest things to do. I just wanted you to know you’re not alone, I hate being asked that question as well. People have a hard time understanding because they never really can. Spreading awareness is one of the best things we can do to combat that. You’re a great writer. Your description and metaphors are perfect and spot on. I hope you keep writing, and keep fighting the fight.

    You are loved.

    I run a blog on mental illness called “Dear Hope”, join the community here: wemustbebroken.wordpress.com

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It feels re assuring to know that there are so many people out there who are dealing with the same demons.
      I shall keep trying, and I would love to be a part of the community. These issues need to be raised and talked about.
      Thankyou so much for your kind and reassuring words!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s important for people to talk about, and you do a great job of showing what it feels like. Keep writing! I gave you a follow so I can keep up with everything, thanks for joining the community. Look forward to hearing more from you on both pages!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always answer honestly when people ask me how I feel.. Unless I don’t know them very well..
    You don’t need words to describe how you feel. Sometimes there just aren’t any words available. People put too much value on words. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It is. Often we are surrounded by people who don’t want no for an answer. I live in an all girls hostel- there are days when I am not feeling right, and my peers come to me like hawks wanting an explanation. They are not content with what I say, and I am not capable of making them understand.
        This post was inspired by one such incident that happened this evening.
        Hence, I wish I was capable of articulating it better perhaps, not just to others, but also to those who care and in turn to myself.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. It certainly is baby steps. A close friend of mine has had severe depression (similar to yours from what I have read on your blog so far) and anxiety (she could not walk through doors at one point, nor go outside on her own), but this week she started a job in an entirely new place with completely new people!
        We’ve taken it together one baby step at a time and she’s come so far. I truly am thankful, and can say that it really has got better for her. I pray that it will for you also, in time and by God’s grace.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thankyou. I know they exist, I read about them here, and they inspire me. And maybe one day, I shall see myself as a success story too. It is a long drawn process, but I do have my life ahead of me. Words from kind individuals as yours, give me faith and help me in seeing the light at the end of that tunnel. Thankyou. God bless! :’)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. At school I sat on my own and wrote a lot. Some days were good, some bad.
    I’m honestly not sure if I have/had depression, but I’ve never been to a doctor about it and at this stage I don’t feel I need to.
    Things have happened that have brought me far from where I was. I’m as happy as I was as a child now πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Depression leaves you unable to describe itself. As for that question, I always paint a bright smile and give a positive non-answer. No one really bothers to listen to what I say, and I’ve become ok with that.
    I don’t know what could have driven you to attempt suicide at the age of nine, it wouldn’t be something trivial though. I hope you aren’t in that place anymore, even though the fight against depression is a daily struggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am surrounded by the kind of people who treat me as their guinea pig. Hence the need to be able to articulate. They keep pestering me.
      More than for them, I feel the need to understand myself.
      It may seem a bit trivial to people, but for a nine year old, her world had come crashing down. I hope that I am never in that place again. I have been there quite often, but in the past 2-3 years I have striven to fight against it. I think it is the love for my family and the pain it would cause them, that holds me back everytime. I just pray it remains a strong deterrant.
      Thankyou for your kind words! πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. I always think that we should strive to look at any event through the other person’s eyes before judging how important or trivial it was.
        I hope you keep fighting, and for yourself, not family or anyone else. Stay strong!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is something that our society needs to learn. People like us are sensitive to individual perception because we have faced similar issues.
        I am working towards it. Maybe one day I will come to that level. Thankyou for your support! It helps. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to know that my thoughts resonate with yours.
      The repition of pain, makes us feel numb. Almost indifferent. Untill the day when something triggers an avalanche.
      Such comments make me realise, that I am not the one.
      And so should you know that you are not alone. We are all in this together!
      Take care. πŸ™‚

      Like

      1. I guess were destined to come in contact then. Life has the strangest ways of connecting people.
        In case you ever need to vent it out, or just talk to someone, don’t hesitate in contacting me.
        Since we all here fight the same demons, we can help each other. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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