I’ve heard depression described as many things and appear in many forms but for me it’s a voice inside my head. When people hear me say I hear a voice in my head, they do look at me like I’m crazy but it isn’t someone else’s voice I hear, it’s my own. It’s a voice that lies in wait for a moment of weakness, like if I have a bad day, If I have an argument with a loved one, If someone makes a comment that’s upsetting, If I fail at something. As soon as I’m weak the voice comes to life and tries it’s hardest to make me give up, it tries to make me stop fighting.
I’ve had this experience today. My Fiancé asked me to go out with him for a drink, a completely normal request, couple’s go out all the time but I’ve been feeling down the past few days so I said no. I always feel guilty for turning him down because he’s a social person who loves going out and I don’t want to hold him back. Anyway, he became frustrated and said that it was hard for him not being able to do things like a normal couple. It was a valid comment and after he realised it had upset me, he apologised and said he loved me and he didn’t mean to upset me, he was just frustrated that I couldn’t do something that I would like to be able to do. It didn’t matter though because as soon as that comment upset me, the voice took it’s opportunity to make it worse. “You’re holding him back”, “He’d be happier with someone else”, “He is only here because he feels sorry for you” “You’re a burden to him”, “You don’t deserve him” “You’re ugly and he could be with someone a million more times attractive”. I try to block it out but once it starts it’s impossible to ignore, it’s literally my own voice inside my head demeaning me and making me feel like a failure, like there is no point in trying. “You should just give up” “You don’t have anything to offer in life, why are you here”, “You’re a burden to everyone you meet” “You know that you can’t hold on forever, just give up now”, “People would be better off without you”. My Fiancé can see me struggling and he’s saying comforting things to me, about how he loves me so much and wants to marry me and have a family but the voice just twists it. “He’s lying”, “He’s just trying to make you feel better, he doesn’t actually want to marry you”, “You will fail him eventually”, “He would be better without you”. The voice is winning at this point, I’ve been bottling things up like I do for weeks and now it’s using all that stress and frustration to take me down, my own voice trying to defeat me.
This is when my Fiancé did something that surprised me, he made a stupid random joke. It came out of nowhere but I laughed and for a second it was quiet in my head. Then the voice piped up again “Why are you laughing, you’re a disappointment”, “You’re ugly and fat, you shouldn’t be here”. My Fiancé made another joke to get a laugh out of me and again I laughed and it was quiet. I’ve always looked for someone who can make me laugh because it’s important to me and it’s payed off because it turns out laughter quiets that voice inside my head. My Fiancé figured out it was making me better and kept saying things to make me laugh, and eventually that little voice crawled back into it’s hole.
It’s still there now, why my mood is vulnerable, popping in and out of my head but I’ve got over that breakdown and I’m fighting it with the help of my Fiancé’s brilliant sense of humour.
That voice is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with though and I’m sure it won’t stay down for long, it will pop up as soon as I’m weak enough again. It’s the fact that the voice is my own that’s hard, it’s literally me telling me to give up and it’s hard to ignore your own head. My mind is my enemy, for some reason it doesn’t want me to be happy and it does whatever it can to make me struggle. It’s a tiring fight, mentally exhausting to try and keep your own mind quiet. I hope that one day that voice withers away and dies, one day I want to be strong enough to cut it off completely, but for now I have to fight it and hold on to the feeling of being wanted and loved. I have to let the people around me support me and help when they can because love and laughter will beat the little voice eventually. Just got to keep fighting.