Depression steals your sense of adventure. You know nothing but here, now, the depth of this pit.
When you are lucky, the pit goes straight down and when you’re there, when you’ve hit that cold hard rock bottom, you can almost make out a neat little door in the darkness of the brickwork. You can grasp at the dank walls and pull yourself to your knees, tug at that slippery handle until the warmth of sunlight blinds and overwhelms you. It is tough, it is alien, but eventually you remember how to function in this daylight. Sometimes you will even bask in the warmth of normality, let yourself feel, or even enjoy, until the next brief slip when you allow yourself to accept adventure, you close your eyes and tilt your head up to that beautiful, beautiful heat and step step step straight back into that pit. Your descent begins again. You shouldn’t have taken that chance. You should have hidden your face from that glorious warmth, because that glow was never for you. You have depression now, and that means a life of cold and dark, nothing and everything.
Some pits are worse than others. Sometimes rocks jut out, shaking and bruising your bones with every collision. Vines catch you, allowing brief moments of hope to taunt you before you are dropped into jet black hate and sadness. You succumb to an all-consuming knee-jerk panic as you feel your weight release from under you, and you burn with shame because you honestly believed you had a saviour, but those vines were anxiety and they were there to betray you and punish you for believing you were worth saving.
Those pits don’t have doors at the bottom. You can scratch at the walls for days, make your nails bleed with desperation and blister your knuckles in the hopes of finding something, anything, that will give you a way out. Let you just have a glimpse of sunshine. It doesn’t even need to shine on you, as long as you can see that it is there. But no. No door, no loose bricks, you deserve nothing nothing nothing but panic panic panic. You are worthless, you will die here, give up, you shouldn’t have looked at the sunshine, you shouldn’t have let your guard down because now it is here and it is ready and it is relentless.
So you lie down. You wait. If you are quiet and still, depression will turn it’s back and slowly, sneakily, you can begin to reach for those vines and pull yourself steadily out of the pit. Your muscles will scream and your veins will tremble, but if you don’t climb climb climb, slow, careful, don’t misstep, depression will win. Losing is the easiest option, but it is not an option, because losing means you die and you have no chance of seeing that sunshine and you are taking away a sunbeam that could shine on a parent, a child, a friend, a spouse. If you lose to this pit, you create pits for everybody around you. So climb with courage. Climb at your own pace. Climb carefully, and only when you are ready.
But please, whatever you do, climb.
Always make sure you climb.