I used to think depression looked a lot like being marooned on an island.
At first, it’s devastating. You’re overwhelmed by the new surroundings, and terrified you’ll never, ever be able to leave. But each day, you take a small step towards learning to survive. You adapt, you get stronger, you sip some coconut juice. Eventually, you build an impressive raft to sail yourself back to the mainland. You’re greeted with great fanfare, and everyone comments on your glowing skin and inner zen. You have no desire to return to the island, but you look back on it as the place where you grew in to a better person.
Now that I have the benefit of experience, I can confidently say that my prior assessment of depression was a bunch of crap.
Depression is not at all like being stranded on Bora Bora with a killer self-help book.
If anything, depression is like an escape room.
Escape rooms are all the rage right now. Participants pay to be “trapped” in a themed room of some kind—like Tomb or Zombie Fever. The unifying factor being that they are all very dark and very creepy. You have a certain amount of time to escape by solving interactive puzzles and discovering clues. If you’re unable to find a way out in the given time frame, you “die.”
People do this for fun.
It’s safe to say I will never take part in a pretend escape room scenario, because I’ve spent the past eight months in a real one.
After my gorgeous second son was born, I was gifted with darling onesies, shepherd’s pie, and postpartum depression. It felt as though I had been knocked unconscious, smuggled into an escape room, and left there. Door locked, key thrown away. Just me. Alone.