"Depression is like drowning, except you can see everyone around you breathing."
I'd be lying if I said it happened overnight, because it didn't. It was more of a slow burn, something that seeps into your soul and your skin and covers every inch of you. By the time I realized it had overtaken me, it was over my chest and I couldn't cry out for help.
I had lost my job nine months before and the unemployment had stopped, we were in the middle of a global pandemic that was stretching on months and months longer than anyone expected it to, and the money.... was running out.
I felt like a failure. A fraud. I couldn't secure a new job in this climate, I couldn't help my husband with the bills. My chest tightened. Panic attacks happened daily.
So I slept. 12....14 hours a day in bed, wasting away weekends, my daughter's sweet voice echoing down the hall, "Mommy's still in bed..." she'd say. My husband had seen it coming but refused to acknowledge it at first, until one day I did something that he couldn't ignore.
"You have to go somewhere," he says, pinning my arms down as I cried, refusing to let me raise them and strike myself in the face again. "You need to check into the hospital."
"Let me die,"I begged," It's too much."
I entered treatment on a Friday, after five hours in the ER, tests and blood and COVID screening. They drove me to their facility, confiscated my phone and hair products with alcohol in them, and put me into an unassuming room with a rock hard bed, exactly one pillow and scratchy sheets.
It was dinner time, and I saw my new house mates as we all shuffled out of our rooms to eat dinner. Everyone was younger than me except for two, one sweet old man who brought me a plate as I sat in a daze.
They all looked so sad. Why was I here? I had a beautiful family at home! A wonderful daughter! An amazing husband! These people- they didn't look like they had the kind of life I had. I started to feel guilty.
I spent the next three days sleeping as much as I could, in between carb-laden offerings (bread and pasta at every meal), and hours of group therapy, where I was the only one who offered any sort of response to the therapist's questions.
It was as if their souls had been sucked out of them.
I spent five days in that facility before I was deemed "well enough" to go home. When I got home I had a great 24 hours... and crashed after 48.
The depression was deeper. Darker. It was too soon. I shouldn't have left.