"What is depression like?" he whispered.
"It's like drowning. Except you can see everyone around you breathing."
Then what is depression like?
Depression is like being trapped in an aquarium—while everyone else outside is walking, talking, breathing, and living. You don't even know why you're inside the aquarium. You know something terrible happened before, but you just don't know how you got in there.
You wade in the water, trying hard to get out, but you can't. There's something blocking the supposedly open-wide space above the tank. And while you ask for help from people who pass by your water-filled prison, they just give you a shrug and say, "You got yourself in there. Just swim up and get out. No big deal."
But you're inside the water, so you can't explain how or why or what you're going through. People think you're just overreacting. They think you're screaming for attention. But you're not.
No matter how hard you try, people won't hear you out. You don't know what to do, you don't know how to get out. You're suffocated in water. And then you stop wading and simply just let it all go. You simply stop trying to live.
* * *
When you are depressed, you don't feel joy, even with the things you normally have fun with—books are just books, and painting is just painting. Whatever you do seems wrong, and it seems that it will only inflict pain to you and those around you. Joy is an elusive friend when depression is clinging on your back. Happiness will never be something you can think or feel or remember.
When you are depressed, you don't scream for attention; you just want to be understood. But no matter how much you explain, you'll never be understood, because depression is a mysterious beast. You speak a different language when you are depressed—a language that people fear of, a language that only comes from a place laden with hurt and despair so mountainous, no one but the depressed can only understand and speak.
People might say you need to see a shrink, but a shrink may probably have never personally experienced depression. He’s never been in you your place, so how could he empathize with what you're going through?
When you are depressed, you are consumed by the pain you feel. John Green wrote, "Pain demands to be felt." With depression, pain does not only demand; it also yanks you out from normalcy and slaps you in the face, saying, "Hey, you are useless, you are pathetic. You don’t deserve a place in this world."
Pain is always there, because pain is you. Depression is pain in itself. And it seems that the only way to stop it is to end it all.