My life goes on like so many others. Day in, day out, busy, busy, busy. Family, friends, work, home, life. But in the middle of all of this there is a hole, a big dark hole - a ditch. It’s easy to fall into The Ditch. Mostly I’m pushed. There are a lot of times that I’m teetering on the edge of falling in. Or just standing on the side looking into it. There’s a gravitational pull coming from The Ditch, and it tries to suck me in.
I try to ignore it, and go on with my life. I dance around it. Run around it. I keep busy so I won’t see it there. But it’s there. Always waiting.
Others don’t see The Ditch. It’s invisible to everyone else besides me. No one knows when I’ve fallen in. I can’t talk to anyone about it because they don’t see what I see. They don’t feel what I feel. They are not in The Ditch.
When I’m not in The Ditch, I smile more. I laugh more. I run more. But it’s dark in The Ditch. It’s lonely in The Ditch. And it’s sad. The Ditch sucks my energy dry and tries to keep me from getting out. It tries to pull me in deeper. It tries to make it harder and harder to see my smile and hear my laugh.
It doesn’t take much to push me into The Ditch. I could be doing fine ignoring it. I could be so far from the edge. And then suddenly, one little thing, one little misstep and I’m falling over the edge. One little failure. One little setback. I feel it all so deeply it knocks me off balance and I fall in.
I worry more in The Ditch. My mind races and my heart beats harder. It’s hard to breath in The Ditch. I’m so exhausted and scared. I want to cry. Everyone would wonder why I’m crying. I can’t let them see me cry. They will want to know what’s wrong, but they won’t understand. I wouldn’t know what to tell them anyway. Depression is best described in metaphor, isn’t it?
The Ditch is full of contradictions. I’m so lonely, but I want to be left alone. I don’t want to seem melodramatic. I don’t want the attention. Even when I’m outside of The Ditch, it all seems silly to me. Reading this from outside The Ditch would make me roll my eyes. It would make me cringe.
But The Ditch makes me angry and cynical. I want to snap at those who talk to me. I want to run from those who try to make me laugh. Nothing goes right in The Ditch. Everyone and everything annoys me. I don’t want to do anything. I can feel the darkness of The Ditch closing in on me. I almost want to feel it so I know I can still feel something. Everything outside of The Ditch is stupid. I’m jealous of those on the outside. I’m jealous of those who don’t see The Ditch. I get mad at myself for getting jealous. I question everything in my life when I’m in The Ditch. The “what-ifs” take over. I’m a failure in The Ditch. I’m pathetic. I hate my body. I hate my face. I hate my hair. I hate The Ditch.
I don’t want to be in The Ditch. I want to get out. I want to live. I want to live MY life. I know it’s still out there. I cling to it. But I know that no one else is going to save me from The Ditch, so I have to do it on my own. There are no friends in there with me. There’s no savior on the side waiting to lend me a hand. I have to fight. It’s a silent fight.
I might have to claw at the side of The Ditch and struggle to climb out. Sometimes I can just lift myself up over the edge. Most times, though, it’s not that easy. I have to banish the thoughts The Ditch is putting into my head. I have to start to ignore it again. I have to get out soon and pretend I don’t see it.
I climb and I climb. I don’t know if I will ever get out. I wonder if I have left a part of myself in The Ditch. I keep climbing. I start to smile more. I start to laugh more. Soon I’ll be able to run again. I’ll be lighter. I’ll be out of The Ditch.
I’ll start my life again. I’ll ignore it harder this time and pretend like it’s not there. But in the back of my mind, I’ll still know that it is. It’s there and it’s waiting.