I have 3 posts waiting to be finished but I just can’t bring myself to finish them. Not because I hate the posts or the content, but because I can feel depression creeping up on me.
I have recently started to call it the Black Bear. I first heard the term “Bear” in a poetry piece by Sabrina Benaim, and I recognised every word she was saying; how she would play dead until the bear left her alone, how you make plans that you don’t want to attend.
Unless you’ve experienced mental ill-health yourself, you won’t really understand what happens. I can only speak for myself but the Bear keeps me distracted – my attention has been caught by other things 3 times just writing this first part.
It sits on my chest as I try and move from my bed. If I manage to get out of bed, it then guides me to the sofa and sits on my lap.
I haven’t been affected by depression since August 2016 and it was coupled with anxiety. It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain so you are never cured, you stabilise and can go years without an episode. You can wake up one day, the Bear is sitting at your feet with no warning. I feel suffocated by the clothes I wear, unable to nourish my body with food and water, unable to even do the things that I love like writing posts for this blog.
You can tell that I’m feeling low when I haven’t painted my nails. It’s something that I take great joy in, something that allows me to express who I am and produce an emotional response to my everyday life. When my nails are blank, so are my emotions. There is nothing there.
People say you should exercise, go outside, do something you enjoy, but you can’t move your body. Being in open spaces makes you anxious and you don’t want to take the joy out of something you love.
The only thing you can do is wait for it to pass, hoping that it happens quickly. Hoping that you can pick up exactly where you left off before you were visited by the Bear, before your life was put on hold, before you felt nothing and everything all at once.