Shining a light on the darkness

I read about a depression memoir named ‘Darkness Visible’ by William Styron. I felt inspired and eager to read it, but as I imagined what it would like to write an explicit, warts-and-all memoir of my own experience I felt terrified at the idea.

I realised my fear is this: if I think about it, it might come back.

Why fear this?

  • Because it’s uncontrollable and unpredictable, and it feels impossible to come out of once you’re in.  
  • You just want to lie in the dark and you can’t make yourself stand or undress or eat. The only impulse you have to obey is going to the toilet.  
  • You don’t want the night to come because it’s lonely and you lie hour after hour awake and restless, but you don’t want the morning to come either.  
  • You feel pain all the time. Nothing makes you happy.
  • You don’t want to see anyone. You feel you would have nothing to offer them if they saw you. You feel like a burden and an embarrassment and a failure of a daughter.  
  • You walk in front of a car and hope it will run you down. You hope you don’t wake up. 
  • You have no hope. 
  • You can’t escape.

I want to avoid thinking about it and talking about it, in case I somehow invite it back in.

Because I feel my recovery was a trick I pulled. I don’t understand how I beat it, I just got lucky and escaped, I slipped out the back door when its back was turned. And one day it might realise I duped it and come looking for me. 

Perhaps this is why I have bad dreams, nearly every night, that I am being chased and killed.

Bad things will happen in life, thus I can’t promise myself depression will never come back.


It’s good to confront the things that frighten you.

  • I remember that I got through it before.
  • This time I know the signs to look for.
  • I remember the first step I took to feel better, the second step, the third.
  • I remember who I turned to.
  • I remember the mass of positive experiences as a result of sticking around.
  • I was at the bottom, and I climbed up.

Whether you are suffering, or have suffered from depression – there is a reason for you to keep going. If you keep going, you will discover it.

This entry was posted in Depression, Fears, Life, Naughty Brain, Self Development, Thinking, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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