Blog

Feb8
2016

I’ve Been There Too

By Alex Snow

Sometimes it’s anger. Sometimes it’s frustration. Sometimes it’s sadness. Most days it’s a lack of motivation to do anything at all. Getting out of bed seems like much too opposing a task to even consider conquering it. My bed is more inviting, and it’s already there without expectation. I can stay there and nobody will notice. Surely I can come up with some clever justification for why I can’t come in to work or why I have to miss that lunch meeting. After all, I have another meeting. With Netflix. And Netflix demands nothing of me.

This is generally just the start. After I shrug off my responsibilities for the day, that’s when it really hits me: the thoughts, the introspection, and the weight of everything bearing down on me. It descends on me and brings with it an overall lack of desire to face any of it.

This past Sunday I woke up at 7:30 in the morning and could not fathom getting out of bed. My body was sore and my throat hurt, but mostly I was just exhausted: spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. On every front it seemed I was running on fumes. So I called my boss and let him know I wouldn’t be coming in. I then proceeded to stay in bed and watch movies in an attempt to gain some semblance of the energy I needed to get up. This is what a bad day looks like for me. They are generally few and far between, but when they come, it’s like getting hit by a bus.

In case you haven’t caught on yet, I am talking about my personal struggle with depression. I’ve realized over the last few years that it has always been there, affecting almost every facet of my life. It wasn’t until I was about 24 or 25 that it had a name. Until that point it just seemed like there was something different about me: I was on a rollercoaster when it came to my emotions. I had the ability to feel everything at once and then nothing at all in the span of a few days. I was incredibly self-deprecating, which I hid behind the mask of humility. People would tell me these great things that they saw in me, but I was completely unable to see them until recently. All I saw were the worst things about myself, and I was always waiting for everyone else to catch on. Eventually they would see it: this inability to measure up to their expectations, this darkness that stayed just below the surface. The anger issues. The lust. They would see through the facade and everything would come crumbling down.

These are lies depression tells you:

You aren’t good enough. You’ll never be good enough.

You are only as good as what you can produce for people. Once your usefulness runs out, so will they.

Don’t get up. There is no reason to.

For a long time I thought I was just insecure. But even after I started to see all the positive things about myself, I still had days where I had no desire to do anything productive. Thankfully my depression has started to feel less like a personal weakness and more like what it actually is: a form of mental illness.

Mental illness often goes beyond the person just bearing it. It is not something that can be wished away or put aside with “good vibes” and a strong will. It can’t be cured by trying harder to be happy or focusing on positive things. It’s overwhelming. At time, it seems unconquerable.

Over the last two years I’ve learned how to manage the struggle. I have learned both my weaknesses and what helps me recover. Below are a few of the things that have worked for me.

Find an anchor

Find something solid, something concrete that you can go back to when the struggle is especially hard. This may be your family, a friend, a hobby, or a song. For me, it’s my faith; that is my anchor in the storm. No matter how I get tossed around, I can always come back to that and know it is a True North.

Find something that will help you see in the midst of a struggle that what you are feeling is temporary. Find something that will remind you that it will get better.

Embrace your community

One of my biggest weaknesses is not asking for help when I need it. I hate feeling like I am imposing or like I am putting undue weight on other people. Over the last few years I have learned the importance of community – not only in the bad times but in the good times as well. The old adage goes that no man is an island. We are not built to be alone.

Know your rhythms

Sifting through my feelings and emotions is crucial. I’ve learned to pinpoint what things bring me energy and what things wear on me. I am an ambivert by nature. I need a good balance of time alone and time with people. Too much time out with my community and I feel emotionally, mentally, and physically drained, but too much time alone and I feel isolated and insignificant. For every two or three days I go hang out with people, I need at least one night where I just sit at Starbucks and read by myself or go sit by the water.

Ask yourself: “What makes you more vulnerable and what makes you more resilient?”

Talk to someone

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to so the thoughts can get out in the light. It is amazing how just verbalizing something can bring so much clarity and understanding to it. Many times, once I have said something out loud, it opens the door to healing and restoration. If you can, find someone you trust or go see a counselor and let them know what your struggles look like. Sometimes we just need someone to say, “I have been there. Let’s talk about it.”

I know there is someone out there struggling because, if I’m being honest, I struggle more than I’d like to admit. But if you’re reading this, you should know: I’ve been there too.

Leave a Reply

Comments (67)

  1. Elizabeth

    I stuggle too. Thank you for your sharing this . I still have a hard time telling my family i struggle witht depression because I have am pregnant. Now it’s affecting my choices as
    Will I be a good enough mother?
    Will she choose her dad over me once I stop being useful?
    My ex left me saying our relationship was unhealthy and it was better to have a civil relationship For the baby . All thoughts came rushing in saying I was and never be enough For him as he left me once before for the same reason
    Thank you again and I will have you in my prayers .

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Elizabeth, I am glad I could write something that helps you, even if it is to know that you are not alone. Our heads do terrible things to us sometimes. Let me just say that if you worry that you are going to be a good mother, that says to me that you care a ton about your baby. And that alone will make you a good mother. Just remember that you are special, you are unique, and you are important. I thank you for your prayers and know that you are not in this alone.

      Reply  |  
  2. Alamia

    This is exactly what I needed to read today.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Alamia, I am glad that my experience can help you. That is the only reason I do this. My thoughts are with you my friend.

      Reply  |  
  3. Staci

    Wow excellent post!
    I can relate & it’s refreshing to know someone else has experienced very similar symptoms, etc.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Staci,
      Thank you for the encouragement and I am glad this post resonated with you. I know what it is like to feel like you are the only one feeling this way or like your symptoms are unique. You are not alone and I hope on your hard days this will help you remember that.

      Reply  |  
  4. Alexa

    Exactly what I needed to read today. Having a rough day and this really struck a cord and hit home for me. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Alexa,
      You are so welcome. The only reason I write is in hopes that maybe my experience will help someone else. If I am being honest, I have to remind myself of things a lot because it easy to lose sight of them during hard days. I just hope no matter how rough the day you can come back to these and they can help shine some light into your life. One of the things I remind myself of is that my depression is like a roller coaster. I may be down right now, but it will not be that way forever. My thoughts are with you and remember you are special, you are unique, and you are important.

      Reply  |  
  5. Ruben

    I can fully relate to this. I want to get better but lack the motivation and will. How can i start?its really effecting me and i feel the depression will only get worse.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Ruben,
      The way I would start is by finding your community. Knowing that you are not alone and that there are people there that have your back is incredibly encouraging when things get hard. I have been incredibly blessed to have an inner circle of friends who love me unconditionally and let me be me through my difficult days. Sometimes that is just sitting next to me while I silently reflect, sometimes it is letting me vent, sometimes it is forcing me to get up and go out with them. Find those people and be breve enough to let your walls down with them. I would say the next biggest thing is to know yourself and if you don’t, figure yourself out. I spend a ton of time reflecting and processing about my motivations, my strengths, and my weaknesses. Get a journal and then just write down whatever you feel. The beautiful thing about a journal is that it is just yours so even if you are not ready to show that side of yourself to the world, you can do it in private. I have journals and journals where I have written down my deepest, most personal thoughts since I was seventeen. I am twenty-eight now. Just getting it out of your head can do wonders. That kind of introspection will reveal to you your anchor. And then lastly, don’t be afraid to see a counselor. That is so hard but a trained professional can see things we can’t. They can give us insights that we can’t see on our own. Those kind of insights have given me more clarity than I could ever put into words. I hope this helps, Ruben. And remember, remember, remember that you are not alone. There are all kinds of communities for us out there if we just seek them out.

      Reply  |  
  6. Jessi

    I feel like you just described my life. It is nice to hear that other people feel the same-it helps to keep going. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Jessi,
      I am glad this connected with you. That is why I write. Everyone should know that they are not alone and there are others who feel the same way. I hope you keep going on, always. Find the motivation. Remember that you are not alone and that you are special, unique, and important.

      Reply  |  
  7. Ciro

    Tears so many. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Thank you for reading this, Ciro. It is always humbling to me that people would take time out of their days to read what I write.

      Reply  |  
  8. Ashley

    I needed this. Good timing. And 99% of what you said I feel the exact same way. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Ashley,
      I am so glad that this could help you, legitimately. Thank you for reading it. Remember that you are not alone. And you are worthy. Worthy of happiness, of love, of success. Not matter what your head tells you, you are unique, special, and important.

      Reply  |  
  9. Chary

    It’s difficult asking for help, I can’t even do it yet. But reading this helped a lot, I realised it is important to keep going and trying to find a way to get better. I did find the way I have to follow, but sometimes it gets really hard to focus on my goals and my own value. Reading your story encouraged me to keep trying, because one day, I really want my bad days to be less and less frequent.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Chary,
      I know the difficulty of asking for help. I affectionately call it my “Superman Complex,” because when I was younger, I thought I could save the world without thinking about myself. I never wanted to be a burden or didn’t think people would understand or just didn’t want people to look at me differently. I hope you find the strength and courage to do it. And more so I hope you have an amazing group of people around you that make you feel safe enough to. I am glad you have something that drives you and gives you something to focus on. Use that. Keep pushing, keep fighting and I promise one day the lows will not be so low. You will look back on how far you have come and you will be incredibly proud of yourself. Remember, you are important, you are special, and you are unique. And above all else, you are not alone.

      Reply  |  
      1. Chary

        Thank you so so much

        Reply  |  
  10. Bob Mills

    Alex, this is superb and is no doubt helping thousands already. I regret you have suffered, by I praise Gid for the ways he is leading you as he redeems your suffering.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Bob,
      Thank you so much for the encouragement and for taking the time to read this. For a long time (and some days still) I ask God, “why me, what did I do to deserve this?” I am learning though that my struggle with depression is not some personal attack or punishment, it is just one of the unfortunate facts of life. But through it, it is helping me connect with and help thousands of people. And that I will take. Thank you again for the encouragement, Bob. Words like that help me continue to have the motivation to keep doing what I am doing.

      Reply  |  
  11. Maria

    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Thank you, Maria.

      Reply  |  
  12. Carmen Perkins

    This is one of the best descriptions of depression I have ever read. I have read a lot because I have battled depression for 20 years. Thank you for sharing this because I needed it today! I am so grateful for twloha and the message it stands for. Too many people battle mental illness alone and I feel it has brought it into the light. God definately has his hand in this movement.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Carmen,
      I am sorry you have been battling this for 20 years, but I am also encouraged because you are a fighter and you have made it through every day. I am glad you could find this when you needed it. That’s what makes it worthwhile. And I could not agree more about TWLOHA. It is an incredible organization with a wide influence and they have helped millions.

      Reply  |  
  13. Sara a

    Thank you. This finally puts words/meaning to what I’m going through. I never realized what it was.

    Reply  |  
  14. Thirza

    Thanks so much for this!
    The part where you say that you notice that it isn’t just insecurity but an illness relates to me so much!

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Thirza,
      I struggled with that for a long time. I just assumed it was something I was doing or that I had brought it on myself now. I realize now that for whatever reason, this is part of me. And through that, it opens doors for me to relate to and talk to people that I couldn’t otherwise. And thank you you for taking the time to read this. That means a lot to me.

      Reply  |  
      1. Thirza

        Thanks! That’s so true. And no problem, i liked reading it! thanks for responding.

        Reply  |  
  15. Jen

    Wow. This is exactly how I feel too. Especially the whole first paragraph. Sometimes it’s a frustrating circle. I get sad if people don’t ask me to hang out with them but when they do I usually find some excuse not to go because I’m comfortable at home. I always love your blogs. They always reassure me that I’m not alone and that I’m not crazy. Other people feel this way as well.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Jen,
      You are one of closest friends. You and I have spent so much talking about life and the things that make us us. You should know that I love you, that I am incredibly blessed to have you as a friend, and that I am always here for you. You have my number and you can use it anytime you want. You are beautiful and thoughtful and sassy and incredible. I love you lady.

      Reply  |  
  16. Sabrina Stone

    Alex,
    We’ve worked together for a few years and I have to say you hid ALL of this so well. I have to say THANK YOU for writing this, because I feel like you reached inside my head, heart and soul and pulled out what it feels like to be ME on a daily basis. I never though anyone could truly understand it but now I know YOU someone I actually know does. AGAIN, THANK YOU for being real, for being honest and for being open enough to share your story with us all. HUGS and LOVE!

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Sabrina,
      You have always been such an encouraging voice in my life and I cannot thank you enough for the positivity that you bring to me. I love you and I am thankful for you and you are incredible. I am glad God put you in my life lady.

      Reply  |  
  17. Hayden

    Thanks for this. It helped some.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      I am glad to hear that, Hayden. Thank you for taking the time to read it. THAT means a lot.

      Reply  |  
  18. Rachel

    Me too.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      You are not alone, Rachel. Ever.

      Reply  |  
  19. Eric

    Alex, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this post.
    At twenty four years old, I’m bearing the weight of introspection and the luggage of past mistakes born from insecurities in myself. This last week, my heart has been so heavy, but knowing I’m not alone, that’s my anchor. True North. I really loved that part of your story.
    Thank you. Please, continue spreading hope.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Eric,
      As long as people like you continue to read and be moved by my writing, I won’t stop. That is what’s makes it worthwhile. Remember Eric, you are not your past. You have a clean slate from here and what you choose to do with that is up to you, brother.

      Reply  |  
  20. Emily

    You know, a lot of times my feelings automatically get pushed aside because I am young, but I am sick of mental health being so invalidated in general. It should be treated as any other sickness… It is paralyzing me all the time, and I have seen it destroy my friends. Everywhere you go you see the same old “just find what makes you happy, exercise, stick with true friends, just be happy” or “why are you so negative all the time? Why can’t you just get over it?”… I am trying to get in touch with as many organizations as I can to help common mental illnesses such as anxiety disorder or depression not get pushed aside simply because they are common. People misunderstand it as just being pessimistic but it’s really a monster inside my brain telling me I have so much to get done but can’t start. It has left me in a pit slowly losing every ounce of energy to do anything I previously loved doing. Then the anxiety fights the depression, leaving me stuck. People don’t see this. They see a complaining teen. Not a sick human.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Emily
      “People misunderstand it as just being pessimistic but it’s really a monster inside my brain…,” that is probably one of the most accurate descriptions of depression and anxiety I have ever seen. I am sorry it is so hard for you right now, but at the risk of being cliche, it does get better. I remember when I was a teenager, and even in to my mid twenties, there was so many changes going on in me that to add in my own depression was overwhelming. The beautiful thing is that there are so many communities, both in real life and online, dedicated to helping people understand that they are not alone. I applaud you for taking the initiative and finding these groups and these organizations. That is such a mature step. Know that you are understood. People will read your comment and completely identify with you. And more so, because you are starting young, you will be able to help more and more people as you get older. I know that doesn’t seem like the truth now, but it absolutely is. I know I don’t know you, but I am proud of you just after reading your comment. Keep up the fight and when it gets hard, remember that you are not alone. You are not alone.

      Reply  |  
  21. Sarah

    Until recently I ignored the “bad days” that have plagued me for three years, but finally acknowledging my depression and loneliness has enabled me to start overcoming them. You cant imagine how much I needed to read this. When I got to the “here are some things that worked for me” part I felt clouds lifting. Thank you, hugely.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Sarah,
      It’s amazing how much healing can come from just admitting we are struggling. It is very much true that we can’t begin to fix a problem until we acknowledge it’s presence. I am so glad you took that step. It is such an important one. And I am glad this could help you. This is why I do what I do. Remember that it does get better. Little by little, the darkness breaks and the light starts to shine again. I believe in you and I know you have it in you to fight this. I mean that legitimately.

      Reply  |  
  22. Vanesa

    Se que escribir mi historia en español es tonto por que todos son de EEUU pero la ultima vez que escribí fue muy difícil hacerlo bueno creo que ya conté mi historia pero capas no entendieron nada todo mi tema de drogas alcohol empezó desde mis 15 años mi primer trago y 13 el primer cigarro creo que yo siempre quería encajar con los demás y por eso lo hice, luego las fiestas eran prácticamente todos los días probé coca marihuana y alcohol era mi droga favorita estuve ahí como dice en este blog fue hasta que toque fondo cuando tenía 26 años y casi me hospitalizaron . Estar en una casa y amanecer en un lugar totalmente diferente y obvio no te acuerdas de nada de lo que paso es horrible yo me quise salir varias veces pero , aveces es imposible por la gente que te rodea por que te jalan a esto que te puede matar si no lo paras ver que hay otra gente como yo que lucho mucho por estar bien es un buen consuelo ahora no tengo muchos amigos pero creo que es mejor así , salgo claro pero tomó una o dos copas no una botella entera, nunca se rindan por que si quieres se puede gracias por escuchar o leer mi historia un abrazo desde Bolivia vanesa

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Vanesa,
      No hablo español, así que estoy usando Google Translate para escribir esta respuesta. Me disculpo de antemano por cualquier cosa que se pierde en la traducción. En primer lugar, creo que es increíblemente valiente. Su historia no es una tarea fácil, pero es tan importante para que otros lo vean. Y me encanta el hecho de que es en español porque como usted ha dicho, por difícil que es para mí hablar español, es difícil para algunas personas para leer Inglés. En segundo lugar, creo que eres increíble para tomar el tiempo para contar su historia. Parte de la razón Me encanta escribir es porque abre la puerta para mí escuchar historias de otras personas. Digo todo esto para decir, yo creo en ti. Creo que eres más fuerte de lo que piensa y yo creo que hay una increíble historia que resonará con personas de todas las edades, etnias, ubicaciones, etc. Debe informar a su historia más. Creo que se sorprenderá de lo mucho que puede ayudar a las personas que entran en contacto con. Sólo recuerde que usted es importante, que es único, y que son especiales. Y por encima de todo, usted no está solo. Creo en ti mi amigo.
      Alex

      Reply  |  
      1. Vanesa

        Thanks so much a mi me cuesta mucho escribir en ingles pero si lo hablo perfectamente realmente ojala que mi historia cambie la opinión de la gente que si se puede!!!!! Y no mortificarte más con el pasado, la verdad Alex es que vi ayer o antes de ayer la película que sacaron sobre la vida de tu amiga y es verdad la gente que está perdida se va a ver reflejada y verá que no es fácil y aveces sin querer recaemos pero también sabemos pararnos , en mi cuidad que es donde te hablo es un tabú hablar de esto pero no tienes idea de lo común y fácil que es conseguir todo lo que deseas acá , si vi a muchos caer y morir por culpa de las drogas Buenos amigos y aun veo a gente que tiene tanto potencial para vivir y sin embargo van a un hotel cuarto o baño público y fuman crack y mira que yo tengo ya 30 años hablo de amigos que tienen hijos esposas esposos y lo siguen haciendo me da pena pero hay un momento en el que sabes que ya no puedes ayudarlos justo en noviembre del año pasado uno de mis mejores amigos se corto las venas y ahí fue cuando descubrí que el se contaba los brazos , fue algo impactante Alex en mi vida por que lo conozco desde mis 17 años y jamas pensé que se cortaba .
        Al final creo que tu tienes la opción de elegir a tus amigos y creo que por el hecho que soy huerfana de padre y criada por mis abuelos …………. es extraño pero vi que mis amigos todossssss tenían una historia similar o igual a la mía creo que por eso aveces la gente no piensa el lo que hace y cuanto daño causa a la gente que los ama , yo si vi como dañaba a mi familia y fue una de las razones por las cuales me aleje de tantos amigos que aveces los veo en una discoteca o reunión es un beso cálido y grande que me dan por no verme hace tantos años pero en ese preciso instante hacen o dicen algo que a una persona que ya salio de esto apenas jamás tendrías que decirle y no se gente que no conoces bien como tu te dice eres increíble eso lo juro siempre hace falta Muchas gracias por escribirme no te preocupes que si entendí todo con el traductor espero poder ayudarlos un abrazo grande y besos desde bolivia.
        Vanesa

        Reply  |  
        1. Alex Snow

          Vanesa,
          Me encantaría escuchar su historia un día. Debemos hacer que eso suceda.

          Reply  |  
  23. Allen

    For several years now I have struggled with anxiety and depression, which is a toxic combination. I often feel like I am not good enough, or that I am not worthy of love. However, I have opened up to more and more people recently, and they have all been supportive of me.

    Even when you feel that you are completely alone, there is always someone, somewhere, who has compassion for you. The key part, though, is having compassion for yourself – and that is easier said than done, as I know all too well.

    Thank you so much for this post.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Allen,
      That is so important to understand. You are never, never, never completely alone. Ever. And I know first hand about being our own worst critics. Keep up the fight brother and together, we will make it through this.

      Reply  |  
  24. Lady

    El dolor esta en la mente ! No en el corazon

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Dama,
      Estoy de acuerdo completamente. El corazón está dispuesto, pero la mente es lo que se interpone en el camino a veces.

      Reply  |  
  25. Barry

    I’ve been there too, and all too often I am there. Good words Alex, thank you for sharing. No matter how many times you think it has been said by someone else, your story carries weight, and will make a great difference in another’s life. It just did in mine.
    Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Barry,
      I have known you and Aimee for a lot of years now. You guys have seen a lot of changes in me and in my life in general, so for you to tell me that my story carries weight carries more weight than you know. You are one of the strongest people I know and I am glad part of my story could have a positive impact on you. Thank you for everything you have done for me.

      Reply  |  
  26. Anne R.

    This is beautiful. This is me. Thank you.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Anne,
      This is why I do what I do. For every person that can relate to me story and see themselves in it, that is more motivation for me to continue. I am glad it helped and I would love to hear you story.

      Reply  |  
  27. Darquetta

    This was me a little bit of a month ago, thank you. This is me

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Darquetta,
      Just remember that you are not the only one. You are not alone. This is me and this a whole host of other people. And together we can do this. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am glad it resonated with you.

      Reply  |  
  28. Brittany

    I needed this. Stay strong and thank you for being an inspiration💞

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Brittany,
      I will stay strong if you promise too as well 🙂

      And I don’t know about inspiration, but thank you for the compliment. It means a ton.

      Reply  |  
  29. Josey

    I honestly started bawling as soon as i started reading..its always so hard to connect with someone going through the same thing because you know everyone feels it differently and you still have that thought that no one understands you. But everything in here was just..like a wake up call for me. At the part about netflix i burst out laughing through my tears because its 2:04 Am and im watching netflix. I stayed up crying and i cant ever sleep during these moments so i turn to this as a distraction. Thank you so much for sharing this..it kind of gives me a little bit of hope..thank you. 🙂

    Reply  |  
  30. Alex Snow

    Josey,
    I am so glad this resonated with you. Truly. Like you said, everyone feels their depression a little differently so it is nice to find people who have similar patterns and struggles with it. The fact that you were watching Netflix while reading this is funny. But we all have our coping mechanisms. I think Netflix is a pretty good one. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I am glad it brings you hope. That is why I do this.

    Reply  |  
  31. Abbey

    The title of this blog is something I desperately need for someone to say to me right now.

    I realize, sitting and eating by myself, how little time I actually send with myself, not occupied otherwise by other people or tasks. Usually, I rely heavily on my relationships* and my to-do-list to keep me plodding along through life. It gets to the point that it seems that people and tasks are all there is. So when there is neither, I am suspended. An alternate reality of self that I forgot existed and I don’t know how to navigate. It can be bit uncomfortable. Yet there is a certain safety and peace within this suspension as well. No one and nothing can hurt me but myself.

    But sometimes myself is more cruel to me than anyone else. It labels my suspension “loneliness” and “isolation”, which enter my mind always accompanied by crumbling self-worth. And it is then that the suspension is suffocating, deadly. It seems to have no end. And with just the tiniest push, it spirals into depression.

    Society sometimes feels like a great lie. We all have dreams and ambitions and are working hard to be “going somewhere,” but in times of suspension, it seems like we are all just climbing all too seriously on our tiny private jungle-gyms, heroically leaping over obstacles that we created for ourselves.

    And too often, we confuse people with events. We schedule them into our lives and cancel them like so many business meetings. When did people become events? When did socializing become so superficial- one more item on the to-do-list. Am I the only one who feels this way? Am I the only one on the fringes? Who else is longing for meaningful connection and community and failing to find it? I don’t even know where to keep looking. They tell me to “seek out my tribe” but they never say how hard it is or how long it can take. There are billions of people on the planet, it seems like I’d belong amongst at least a few of them? Well frankly, I’m tired of looking. Oftentimes, its just easier to eat lunch by myself.

    It’s not that I don’t reach out to people, I do. Its just that a lot of the time, they don’t even answer, or they don’t get it. They don’t understand why I’m crying again for the 10th time on a beautiful sunny day. So what do I do? What is there to do when people aren’t enough?

    *Ah, relationships. The romantic variety which I do not have and can’t stop thinking about. I know it doesn’t make any sense. The rational part of me is saying that I’m probably better off on my own right now with all that I have to deal with and all that I schedule for myself.

    ‘You don’t have time for a relationship’, says my head. ‘And do you really want another relationship like the one you just got out of?’

    ‘No…’ says my heart sheepishly. ‘I just want connection.’ I want a deeper connection than a fringe friend. I want someone I can count on to get lunch with me, someone who I can have deep conversations with, someone to enjoy a sunny day with. I want a companion.

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      Abbey,
      There is so much in your comment that I understand and connect with. The hesitancy to engage in relationships of any kind, specifically romantic ones. The loneliness, not understanding why I feel the things I feel. It’s all crippling and overwhelming. Let’s you and I connect because there are a ton of things I’d like to share with you.

      Reply  |  
      1. Abbey Vinson

        Hey Alex,
        I hope you’re doing well. This message is for you, not really for the comments section.
        It has been a particularly crappy day and I decided to come back to this blog post since it felt so real last time. And I saw you’d replied to my comment! Quite a while ago too, sorry I’m just now getting back to you. You said you wanted to connect? Like outside of the blog?
        If so, I’d really like that. Lately the “no one to talk to who understands” thing has been a constant gripping presence. Please feel free to shoot me an email or a text.
        (336) 705-3442
        -Abbey

        Reply  |  
        1. Alex Snow

          Abbey,
          Here is my email address, feel free to get in touch with me. Alex.snow@live.com

          Reply  |  
  32. C

    Alex,
    Thank you so, so much for your post. You say that we’re not alone, that there are many other people who struggle with depression, but I rarely read something that connects with me so well. Depression is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me, and I constantly feel isolated from people who don’t understand. I come back to this post over and over again, especially on my bad days, and knowing that this level of depression isn’t permanent gives me hope. Recently my bad days have become more and more frequent. When does it start getting better?

    Reply  |  
    1. Alex Snow

      C,
      Like with most things, it is unique to every person. I have had depressive moments that last a single day to an episode that lasted the better part of eight months. For me, it’s all about when I get to the point where I realize that my depression is one of many facets of who I am, not entirely. When I make that determination, it gives me the strength to not let it control me any longer. I don’t know if that helps, but I hope it does. Feel free to email me at Alex.snow@live.com, I would love to hear your story.

      Reply  |