An emotional terrorist lives inside my brain.
The thing about depression is it starts quietly. Just a quiet whisper of, "You're not good enough." You can brush it aside, not disagreeing, just moving on. Another whisper of, "You fu*ked up." Until eventually it's shouting a steady stream of, "You're not good enough. You messed up. They don't like you. You're not enough."
And the thing is, if you hear something enough you'll believe it. You not only believe it, you understand it. It makes sense to you that someone wouldn't want you because of course they don't. Why would they? What's to want? You walk around carrying this weight of failing and everything else becomes harder; simple things like going out in public or not crying in the frozen food aisle of Target because you had to buy your dinner from a section labeled "Meals For One." Things like being able to interact with the rest of the population who doesn't have an emotional terrorist living inside their brain. And the failure pile keeps growing, validating every negative thought your brain has ever thrown at you.
I was reading a story recently that described depression perfectly.
"His depression is like that friend he never agreed to and doesn't want, a deadweight he's carrying around everywhere, and isn't ever allowed to put down."
– Sunsetmog's Not Your Fault But Mine
And it's so true. I've been dragging this godawful weight with me since I was 16, which is 16 years of listening to my brain tell me all the ways I'm not good enough. And let me tell you, my brain is creative.
I can't put it down. I don't know how not to listen to it anymore. I don't know how not to believe that voice instead of the people who care about me. Because that voice is telling me any nice thing you say is a lie.
Sometimes the hardest thing isn't the depression.
It's remembering the old me.
The one who didn't second-guess everything.
But I'm starting to wonder if the old me is real or if I just made her up so I had something to hold on to. So I had something to aim for, to hope for.
This article was originally published at Just Shireen. Reprinted with permission from the author.