Depression is like drowning while seeing everyone else breathing.
I first became depressed at the age of 18, and it was immediately following my ‘de-conversion’ from Christianity to atheism. At some point in our lives, we’ll all become depressed. With some, it’s for a short while, and for others, it’s virtually a lifetime. It’s an ugly condition. It can change someone’s personality, it can inhibit one’s ability to do easy, basic tasks, and if it hits you hard enough, it could lead to ruining or ending your life.
A few months ago, my best friend and I had a talk about the breakup I had just gone through at the time. He told me about this theory of his that everyone has a demon that follows them their entire lives. Being a Christian, he partly meant this literally. But he told me that he thinks my ‘demon’ is depression, and it was because I’ve gone through occasional episodes of depression throughout the ten years I’ve known him.
This is true to a great extent. As said earlier, my dealings with depression began when I became non-religious. I had spent my entire life (at the time) believing Christian teachings, taking it very seriously, and even considering doing evangelical ministry as a lifetime career. When you realize you’ve been lied to by everyone you were raised by and grew up with for your entire life, it shatters your entire world. Then for the next several years I struggled to find meaning and purpose in my life knowing things like how there’s no life after death, no higher power, etc.
Couple those realizations with how my life turned out, from my bio parents abandoning their kids to being kicked out of my adoptive parents’ house simply because I didn’t follow their religion anymore. So, there is no all-powerful and all-loving god, all we have is each other, and people are shit to each other. I’m sure it’s easy to imagine why I suffered with depression for a long time. I overcame it, though, in about 2013, following a few personal events. I overcame it for the aforementioned philosophical reasons, at least.
I thought my time with depression was over. Then, it hit me once more.
To make a long story short, which I may or may not explain in detail someday, I was in a serious relationship for a total of about 20 months and it ended. The end of that relationship made me feel I was a horrible human being, and that caused me to fall back into depression, worse than I had ever suffered. It landed me in the hospital twice, from basically poisoning myself, and I have permanent scars on my wrists. But after several months of wanting to die, it all came to an end when I saw how supportive my friends/family were being, and how much of a heartless bitch my ex truly was, which my loved ones helped me realize.
For some, depression might be chronic and caused my genetics, or from traumatic events that ‘broke’ them. For me, depression is caused whenever I feel things I value aren’t truly important, or something I once loved is gone. Or, I guess in the last case, feeling like I’m a horrible person. I suppose depression for me is caused by something I’m thinking at the time.
In Part 2, I will talk about what depression truly does to a person, and things I have learned from my history with depression, which I believe and hope will prevent me from falling back into it in the future.
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