Depression Is Not A Battle You Win

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Heartbreak, Self

It’s all ways, at all times—and it never ends.

By Dillon Charron

I’m 25. I’m six foot three inches tall. I have the build of a sprinter and the metabolism of a hummingbird. I have a beautiful girlfriend. I have three, very close, best friends.

And I have depression.

When I say “I have depression,” I don’t mean I’m sad and lonely; I don’t mean I’m pensive and brooding. When I say “I have depression,” I’m really saying:

“Take the gun out of my hand… because I can’t put it down myself.”

I was first diagnosed with depression over 50 years ago—well, I say “I,” but what I really mean is, “my blood.” Depression is genetic, and in the case of these genes, it’s a permanent resident. Depression is a potent adversary infecting every good cell in the body until there is nothing left.

It’s a small platoon of soldiers placed into a war zone where the only escape is hundreds of miles away. Despite fighting with everything they’ve got; despite being tactical and precise and ingenious, you still have a very high chance of losing everybody you have with you—you still have a high chance of losing yourself.

Depression is not a battle that you win once, and it’s over.

Depression is guerilla warfare.

Depression is fought when you wake up. Depression is fought when you sleep.

It’s all ways, at all times—and it never ends.

I’m 25. I’m a sparsely published poet. I enjoy competition and I thrive on human interaction. I’ve devoured more pages in my time than you could make from the forests of the great Canadian north.

Everything I do is just another way to hold back the flood of doubt—the raging torrents of sorrow and hopelessness; fear and helplessness.


I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. I recall days as a child that I would spend laying in the grass staring up at the clouds for hours. Alone. Letting the ants crawl on me, between my toes and up and down my arms and legs. I used to sleep in the woods—I say sleep, but what I mean is “be.” I used to be in the woods; I used to live in the woods.

Typical of the 21st century family, my parents had me before they were ready for kids. They raised me like the mistake they always knew I was, and made sure that I knew they thought that. Thusly, my days consisted of woodland venturing, and my nights of finding a place to lay myself down safely.

When I wasn’t in school, I was wandering the forest, or reading a book, or enveloped in one of the thousands of fictitious worlds that I kept on the shelf beside my consoles. Living someone else’s life, regardless if they are real, helped me escape my own (if only briefly).

For a long time, I was proud of myself for still going. I was proud that I woke up each morning and went to class, or to work. I was proud each time I didn’t give in and explode, or give in and act like a miserable prick. I was proud each time I caught the beast at the last second and shoved him back into his hole to rot.

For a long time I didn’t give credit where credit was due. I never thanked those that actually made a difference in my life. The Actors. Musicians. Artists. Writers—all of these creative and wonderful people who rescued me on a daily basis. They are whom I owe my gratitude to.

I’m 25. I have a beautiful girlfriend & wonderful best friends. I have ambitions and dreams and goals so glorious that the thought of failure is immeasurably terrifying. Yet, I’m at the lowest point in my life that I have ever been at.

And he’s there—growing restless. The beast: his maw agape, teeth sharpened, breath as foul as ever—he waits for me to slip, licking at my feet and legs trying to unnerve me. He is bold, and conniving, and convincing.

And I am weak.

And I am weary.

Inside me, the light that strives to shine is flickering. It’s schizophrenic. ADD. OCD. Anxious. Some moments it’s ready to burst forth and claim the head of the next volatile asshat that claims his axiomatic, self-righteousness and tries to force it on their next victim; others, it’s all encompassing. It swallows the light, knocks me out of my seat, and convinces me that there was never actually a light in the first place, and I’ve been on the floor this whole time.

I am 25. I am a Leo. I see colors where there are none, and I see possibility where there is none. I have as much potential for greatness as I do at taking my own life.

At the end of the day, it really all comes down to one simple question:

What do I want?

There is a solution to every problem. Ask the right questions and you will receive the right answers. I’m 25, and I have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life because my possibilities are literally endless. Each day I have to fight with everything I’ve got just to make sure that I’m laying myself down to sleep in my bed at the end of the day, and not a chair in the bathroom, or a sidewalk downtown, or a hospital bed.

What do I want?

What DO I want?

WHAT do I want?

… I just want to be free.

Free from the bonds that bind me. From the dark tendrils pervading my consciousness. From the material filth and explicitly unerring violence deemed necessary by the world. From the big picture viewpoint, from living in the future, from the chaos and worry and doubt and fear that consumes me. From not being good enough, or strong enough, or righteous enough.

It is a struggle within that defines an action without. I choose to live my own way, to discover for myself what so many others try to explain in words I already know.

There is no secret to life. There are no ultimate truths, or hidden facts that will change the very fabric of existence. There is only life.

Life and love.

This is the story of how I beat my depression. It starts internally and ends externally. It begins with acknowledgement, and ends with acceptance. It is how I discovered myself, my purpose, and my heart. How I am still discovering these things.

You see…

Depression is a foe. An unbeatable and invincible foe. And the only way to beat an invincible foe…

Is to become invincible yourself.

Love the person you are, and show the world in you, what you want to see in it.

This article was originally published at The Good Men Project. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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