Disclaimer: This piece was written on February 10, 2015, while I was in a psychiatric facility. I had many reservations about publishing an article written while I was unstable; however, over a year later many of the same feelings still linger. As such, I feel that this piece truly reflects the many symptoms of depression.
Almost a year to the date and I am back in the hospital. It’s much nicer than an average psych ward, and there are no drawstring pants, razors or shower caps allowed. Still, the food is better than jail–I can’t say for sure, though, since I’ve never been. Yay, one point for me.
I admitted myself for depression–lucky for me, this time around I bore no blatant symptoms of suicidality and honest to God, I was taking my meds. But still, I was suffering. I felt the hole of emptiness in my heart. I tried for weeks, before admitting myself, to fill this hole. I filled my days with all things happy, and still, I cried myself to sleep at night feeling nothing but pain. This is the feeling I always dread: the depressive state.
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This was not unfamiliar to me. I remembered how it felt to spend my nights awake, staring at the ceiling, eyes full of tears. I remember how it felt waking up the next morning with the yearning feeling in your body to simply sleep all day. And, of course, I remembered the worst of it: the feeling of agitation as I screamed at the top of my lungs during anxiety attacks in homemade forts of pillows and blankets as I lay on my floor. For me, the telltale sign that pushed me to admission were the days I found myself hiding in a closet trying to escape the world.
I couldn’t function. Depressed Subrina was the worst–I was zoned out. I didn’t know how to live, even breathing was a struggle. The feeling of hopelessness left me yearning for happiness, which seemed unattainable.
I was told this feeling of depression is temporary but days like this leave me wishing for mania. I’m often asked, which of the two I prefer: depression or mania. Normally, I would answer neither. Yet, today I say–MANIA, WHERE ART THOU?!
Depression scares me.
It makes me feel as if I will never smile again. Will getting a mani-pedi ever make me happy like it once did?
Depression takes away life’s beauty.
Depression leaves me feeling as though happiness is a pleasure that isn’t guaranteed. But it should be. Happiness should be a luxury everyone could afford. I want happiness so bad right now that the racing thoughts don’t scare me. I admit mania isn’t perfect. To be honest, when I am manic I am not exactly happy but at least I don’t spend my days drowning in my tears.
The real truth is that I wish I didn’t have to choose between the two: depression and mania. I wish I could just be happy–I wish I could just be me. Bipolar or not, I think that’s all anyone really wants.
[Read Related: “What My Bipolar Disorder Taught Me“]
21 months later and one-year hospital free, I still relate to these feelings. Depression still takes over my life, leaving me with emptiness that sleeping all day, crying all night and hiding in a closet cannot fill. The only difference is now I understand the true meaning of perseverance and survival. For me, depression eventually passes and I just need to remind myself to get through the months of sadness and SURVIVE. And sometimes, surviving depression means forgiving yourself, forgiving yourself for crying with no exact reason or even hiding in your closet for a brief moment to regain a sense of comfort. I am depressed but I am surviving and that within itself is an accomplishment. I will continue to force myself out of bed, fake smiles when inside I’m crying and eagerly await my manic Monday.
Subrina Singh is a passionate young writer. After completing her degree in all things Indian at Stony Brook University, she is now pursuing her Master’s Degree at Columbia University. More recently, she has become committed to using her experience with mental illness to help better the mental-health awareness within the South Asian community. Subrina enjoys writing, reading and drinking Starbuck’s Passion Tea Lemonade while singing Bollywood hits of the Golden Era. Follow Subrina on Twitter for her reactions to Pretty Little Liars every Tuesday night!