She said she understood and, of course, we could wait if I wanted to. But if I was willing, she'd like to capture where I was right then. The darkness.
And I knew it was right. I needed this to happen. Even though it wouldn't be pretty and even though it was difficult, it was also so important. I agreed to do it.
She sent me some pictures she'd found on the internet of depression. Some were very stylized, very artsy. Some were blank stares. Some were silhouettes. I understood why people associated these with depression. And these might represent depression for some people, or even me at some times.
But not this time. None of these came close this time.
This was my darkest time, at least the darkest I can remember. This was the most painful depression I've ever had. And the most unrelenting. Months and months of pain and numbness and isolation and fear and loneliness and sadness and confusion and anxiety and guilt and exhaustion.
The day she came I was wearing the same pajamas I'd been wearing for three or four days straight. My hair was dirty because I just didn't have the energy or will to shower. She was the first person I'd invited into my home in weeks.
She asked me to tell her about my current struggle as she took photos. She was gentle and kind. She listened and asked questions. It was an important moment.
She used one photo for her project. I've been saving the others for the right time. Today is the right time.
These photos are difficult for me to look at. They hurt. But people need to understand what depression is and I believe these will help.
Thank you, Karen, for capturing a hidden moment that needs to be seen.
|My fingertips are pressing on the spot where I've had a headache for nine years. When I cry, I tend to furrow my brow; this makes my head hurt worse. I press on that spot to try to get the muscles to release and relieve the pain. It helps a little.|