Published: May 5, 2023.
"Cold Day" - Media From Wix
Let me tell you what depression feels like.
You wake up, and perform your usual morning routine. . You fix yourself a coffee, a basic breakfast of toast and jam, and turn on the morning news.
Today’s weather report: 25 degrees, feels like -2 due to the wind chill.
Gross. Awful weather again. You desperately yearn to stay home and cozy up in blankets drinking hot tea, but you have work, groceries, and part-time college classes. So you reluctantly put on your coat and head out.
Within a second of stepping outside, you feel a freezing gust of wind touch your body. The wind penetrates every layer of your body’s insulation, and I mean every layer —- your coat, your clothes, even your fat tissue. As the teeth-biting wind seeps through, you sense the stabs of a thousand icicle-shaped pin pricks deep in your muscles and innards. You feel the joints in your hand clamming up, the frost seeping in and half-numbing them, rendering it difficult to move your fingers.
The freezing weather is unbearable, so you call a long-distance friend to vent your frustrations. Unfortunately, she isn’t particularly understanding of your struggles.
“Oh, yeah I understand, the weather sometimes gets chilly here too, feels like 45 degrees or so. Just put on a coat and drink a warm latte and you’ll be okay!”
Rolling your eyes, you reluctantly “thank” her for her well-intentioned advice and hang up. Sure, sipping hot lattes and putting on a coat (which you already did) will help in a mild 45 degree chill, but this isn’t 45 degree weather. It’s 2 degrees. NEGATIVE 2 degrees. Negative TWENTY degrees Celsius.
She just doesn’t understand.
The cold begins to eat away at your fingers, for they are almost completely numb by now. With the little sensation you have left, you painstakingly dial the number of your manager at work.
“I’m sorry, you have already used more than your allotted vacation days this year. If you miss another shift, I unfortunately will have to terminate your employment. It’s company policy, I can’t do anything about it.”
You hang up, grit your teeth, and keep walking. You can’t afford to lose this job.
By the time you reach the office, you look down at your hands and notice small, purple spots covering your fingers. Frostbite. You struggle to move them. And you need fingers to work properly. That’s what depression feels like. A numbing, painful, nail-biting cold — a frost that invades not your fingers and visceral organs, but your brain. A frost that bites the organ that is the very essence of who you are, sometimes leaving you unable to work or function. A frost that others, until they have weathered it, may never understand how agonizing it truly feels.