TRIGGER WARNING: DEPRESSION, ABUSE & MENTION OF SUICIDAL THOUGHTS

the bitter truth about depression is that it never truly goes away. sure, there are some days that are better than others, where you’re so unbelievably happy you think nothing can ever ruin it — but it doesn’t last. i guess emotions are fleeting.

happiness is fleeting. some say sadness is also a momentary feeling too.

personally, i disagree. it hasn’t been fleeting for me. sadness is the only constant in my life. pain has been a part of me for as long as i can remember. even when i’m happy, i’m sad. and i have been so happy.

once in therapy, i remember saying “i don’t know who i am without this sadness, because i’ve been feeling it for so long”. i was 16 at the time.

now i’m 21.

i’ve been wanting to die since i was 9 years old. i could say i don’t know what triggered this aching emptiness inside, this never ending hurt that just gnaws away at me, festering and building with each passing moment. but the truth is, i think it was the abuse i suffered at the hands of my cousin. the not having my own bedroom, the kind of childhood i should have had in a house i could call home, without having to tiptoe around the place, drawing carefully so i wouldn’t accidentally get it on the furniture that didn’t belong to my parents, not complaining about anything because i was supposed to be grateful we had a roof over our heads. because that’s more than what most people had or have. but honestly i hated it. i hated having to live with my cousins, hated having to constantly be on the move, i hated living in a hotel, in a bed and breakfast place, moving from one temporary house to another. and then i hated being abused. and then i hated thinking nobody loved me or nobody cared about me, thinking that nobody would believe me if i told them he put his hands on me.

i think that’s when it all began.

because i remember being 10 and praying for death.

for years, i’d ask god to not let me wake up in the morning, tears dripping down my face, because i just didn’t want to live anymore. i didn’t want to exist.

maybe now i have healed from my childhood trauma, but i haven’t forgotten and i will never forget it. it’s not that i’m letting it affect my present or my future — it’s just that my mental health gets so bad sometimes and every bad thing that’s ever happened comes to the surface.

i’d been ok for months. i’d been happy.

sure, i was stressed for a bit because of my dad being hospitalised, i’d been scared out of my mind, and then there was some more family drama. and there’s the fear about the future. but above it all, i’ve been happy. i’ve been so unbelievably happy, that i want to scream it at the rooftops.

but with that happiness is a lingering sadness. and waiting. just waiting for everything to come crashing down around me, watching as it all burns and turns to ashes. because that’s what will inevitably happen. it’s just a matter of when.

and this goddamn pandemic is making it so much worse. i first felt the shadows of every dark, numbing emotion creeping around me when the ‘lockdown’ got put into place in march. and now, i feel like i don’t want to exist. not in a i-want-to-die kind of way. but in a i-just-want-to-escape kind of way.

i don’t know why.

i’ve been asked why i feel like it, or that something must have happened for me to feel like this. but nothing happened, not now, everything’s dull and boring and uneventful and nothing’s happened. i’m living day to day, like some kind of zombie, just surviving. the only time when i feel ok, when i feel alive and ok and hopeful, is when i am at J’s, or with his sister and her kids.

but i don’t know why i’m feeling like this. i can’t explain it because i don’t understand it. i just know that i can’t be alone with my thoughts and with my parents, because as much as they’ve calmed down with their cultural bs and allowing me a bit more freedom than before, i can’t live here without feeling like i’m suffocating. i’m suffocating on their expectations of me, i’m suffocating with the thoughts in my head, i’m suffocating on the fear of breaking their hearts because that is what will happen. and as prepared as i am for it, i don’t want to hurt them. but i will, and i have to because i need to choose myself and my future and my happiness and my peace and my love over this bullshit culture that puts the reputation before everything.

i’m sad but i am happy and i am exhausted of being me. i feel like i need to just scream or cry or break something or break down or sleep or disappear or not exist, or do something. i need to do something or go somewhere but the world is shit and there’s a plague killing off more people of colour than anyone else, and everything is horrible. i don’t know what to do.

i’m sad and i’m happy and i’m tired.

i’m going to be sad for a while and i don’t know how long a while is but it is a feeling that will be more at the centre now than the background like it has been the last few months. but it is also a feeling so familiar to me, because it’s the only thing, the only emotion and mental state, i knew for 9 years constantly. in a way, it’s welcomed, like an old friend. but i am worried it’ll ruin the little progress i made. and i don’t know how to deal with it anymore, i don’t remember how i did before. and i’m tired.

—Sumaiya

Posted by:Sumaiya Ahmed

my to-be-read pile increases every day and i aspire to be blair waldorf. or jacqueline carlyle. or olivia pope.

3 thoughts on “Depression: a friend that never leaves

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