I am curiously comforted by my depression

I am curiously comforted by my depression

Emily Voss

My mental illness is my prison that I don’t want to escape.

There’s something oddly comforting about overthinking every minute detail, shutting everyone out, and suffering in silence. It’s like happiness doesn’t seem real anymore, and depression has taken over forever. The comfort of my depression makes me feel safe. I’m not ready to pull myself out of it just yet.

After facing the constant, overwhelming sadness for quite some time, it seems to have become a part of my identity. I wouldn’t be who I am without it. Depression feels like a warm fireplace on a snowy night, or watching 90s rom coms alone in the darkness of my bedroom. The swarming thoughts of self-deprecation are all I know.  Happiness feels foreign, temporary, and unachievable. I know I should get help. But a part of me doesn’t want it.

It’s exhausting to simply go to school and work every day. The energy to do anything else is absent. It’s nice though, not having to worry about what other people are thinking or if they’re being judgemental. Being alone is pleasant sometimes.

“For many people, with depression comes anxiety. Your feeling of comfort in depression is most likely your anxiety telling you where you want to be. You’re more introverted, so your anxiety is telling you to stay home in bed instead of going out with your friends,” licensed therapist Jill Vanderbent said.

My bed is my safe space. It’s a place where I’m free to express any emotions I’m feeling. When I’m not in my bed, I have to control the way I express those emotions. That control alone is so draining. Because I want someone to show me they care, but I also don’t want anyone to know how badly I’m hurting.

As someone who doesn’t have many friends, it often feels like no one cares. It’s very rare for me to get a text asking how I’m doing or get invited out. With that being said, most nights are spent alone in my room watching Bojack Horseman, the fictional character that I find easy to relate to.

It’s soothing to silently cry alone at night. Getting those feelings out is refreshing even when there’s no shoulder to cry on. The sleep afterwards allows me to forget everything for a couple hours. Then morning comes, and a smile is faked for school, family, and friends. No one needs to know what’s really going on. No one would really even care.

The most confusing part of this is how comfortable it is. Depression is home. After forging a smile all day, settling down to sadness feels right. But why? Why does it feel that way? Seeing other people happy makes me want to have what they have. It’s just terrifying to leave this home created in depression.

One day I will be happy again. When the sun starts shining and the weather turns warm. I’ll be able to genuinely smile and have fun with my life. Right now, that feeling seems foreign. Soon enough it won’t though. It’ll feel real.

For right now, I’m comfortable with my feelings of discomfort. When I’m ready to move forward, I’ll work with my therapist to set goals and find ways to get my life back on track. There will be a day again where my smile is genuine.