It feels like I’m about to die, with a tight chest and an aching back. I struggle to turn my limp body to the side to catch my breath. I open my heavily-laden bloodshot eyes and reach for my phone in the overwhelming darkness. After several failed attempts, I manage to grasp it, and I press the power button, which sends out a dazzling flash of LCD screen light that burns my retina. I narrow my eyes against the sudden burst of light, as my pupils adjust to the sudden change in illumination. I struggle to make out the time from the screen. It is 3am. I let out a sigh of disappointment.
“I thought it was over, the night.”
That part of the day when most people sleep and relax their minds was the time I spent fighting demons.
Before you start screaming ‘Supernatural’, it’s not the demon you think. This demon doesn’t come, a grotesquerie of black robes, fang-like teeth, tapering claws and dark wings. It comes as your deepest and darkest fears, insecurities mashed up to make a perfect cocktail of anger, agony, sorrow, self-pity and despair. This demon has a name, and it’s called depression.
The first time I ever heard of depression, I thought it was some sort of mental illness for sad, old, white men and withered spinsters. I thought it was one of those words coined to give a name to something that is mostly irrelevant, something which had no effect on the general population.
How wrong I was. Continue reading