Filling the Darkness

Depression is a darkness. It is an emptiness within. It is the place where your joy and your interests and your ability to engage with the world once existed, but depression steals those things away. And in its place it leaves an empty darkness.

This emptiness, this darkness, it isn’t how humans are supposed to exist. It hurts. And so we try to fill the hole, the emptiness. Some of us fill it with alcohol or drugs. Others try to bury themselves in work to ignore the pain. Others find faith. Some use therapy and medications to try to refill their emptiness.

For me, in my darkest moments, I used to fill the emptiness with alcohol. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted not to feel. The catch of using alcohol is that when you wake up you feel all that pain again, this time magnified by a hangover. It makes you want to drink more. Though I have never used drugs, I imagine the experience is similar.

Now, thankfully, my drinking is back to being social, back to being healthy. This is in part because I have since tried to fill my emptiness with faith and medication and therapy. It is better. It doesn’t usually leave me with the hangover of self-medicating. Yet it isn’t the same as being whole again. I have good days where it is almost like I am whole. And I have bad days where it seems that no matter what I do, nothing will touch the emptiness, the darkness.

Yet I keep going because the alternative is to be stuck with that emptiness forever. I believe suicide is the result of that darkness, that emptiness, that pain, overwhelming an individual. I keep going because I have to have the hope that someday something will help fill that emptiness and again make me whole.

And what about you? If you struggle with depression, what do you do to help fill the emptiness? I would love to hear some of your coping strategies, either in the comments section below or through the contact page.

And as always, thanks for reading.

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