My encountered with the dark started back in 2006. I was a college student just trying to navigate my young adult life. What started as a grumble of disinterest turned into a mountain of dark thoughts and feelings over the next three years. I would later learn that this darkness I was thinking and feeling was depression. I wrote a book about this experience called The Progressive Darkness: For the Christian Losing Hope in Depression. In it, I wrote a poem called What Depression Is Like that I would like to share here.
What Depression Is Like
It is the worst darkness imaginable; it’s a dark tower that’s tangible.
In severe form, it’s completely unmanageable.
At best, it’s a horror movie come to life.
At worst, it’s a horror movie that lasts an eternal life.
It is a giant titan chasing me, a disease content with razing me,
A heavyweight boxer who’s waited years to face me.
It’s tall and thick, a velvety black curtain.
It’s a God-awful tent, and death feels certain.
It’s a room in the place of gloom, a room in hell.
I feel doom in this pit, and the walls just fell.
It’s an existential loneliness, the far side of the moon.
Give me an exorcist for darkness; I’m so over this gloom.
It’s somber, rayless, and dismal; it’s caliginous.
It’s smokey, moonless, and abysmal; it’s atramentous.
It’s a progressive—aggressive—darkness.
It’s an “I’d pay every penny to be rid of” darkness.
It’s lonely like Pluto or Voyager 1.
I can’t imagine what these moments were for God’s only Son.
This is just a glimpse of what depression was like for me during those times. Though it was awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, good did come from it. Through it, my faith was strengthened and I became a therapist, advocate, and a friend to any and all who suffer from the condition. I started a private practice called Luminance Mental Health Counseling in hopes of being a light to depression. I also started a Facebook Group and Podcast called Surviving Depression where I hope to break the stigma, educate, and bring hope to those in depression. To anyone reading, I truly want you to know you are not alone out there. I truly wish you love and support and relief soon.