Depression: The sweeping sadness

It sweeps through the lives of its victims, not unlike an uninvited ghost; you feel its presence, but you cannot recollect inviting it in and you have no idea how to get rid of it. It takes over your whole house, and suddenly everything you do (or, more often, don't do) is dictated by this lingering, controlling, heavy-handed ghost. And you can't just leave the house and let it have its way, because it's still your house and you should at least be entitled to have control over that.

The thing about depression is it takes our power away and brings to the fore all of the doubts, feelings of anger and sadness that we might have kept bubbling under the surface. But these things don't come out as bursts of strong emotion or feelings of release; instead they are further numbed by indifference and apathy.

Depression continues to sweep away the cobwebs by building new cobwebs of inaction, misery, and long states of slumber. Sometimes the sweeping can feel so drastic, it could be as if months of hard work and confidence building just disappear on that one day when your mood drops and you are down that hole again. And sometimes the sadness comes from just watching this ghost overtake you with the knowledge that you just have to wait it out. Most of the time talking to someone helps to clear away some of the cobwebs, especially at times when it feels like nothing at all can help and you think; "what else is there to lose?"

Then, slowly but surely, one day there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel - the ghost doesn't leave completely, but you begin to see a little less of it around the house. Sometimes the ghost disappears for whole days at a time, and you begin to forget what it looks like. Deep down inside you know it will probably return, as is its nature; so you start to take full advantage of the days when it's not around. At first these days are infrequent, but the more you utilise your time and keep your eye on that light at the end of the tunnel that keeps getting bigger, the more able you are to welcome your uninvited guest when it turns up again without it ruining the rest of your week.

Depression is 'the sweeping sadness' because it takes us in a whirlwind, forcing us to spread all of our baggage around before we even know what’s happening. But it can be swept away too, with the right broom of course.

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