By Anonymous – 27, male.
How can I explain the void? Some days I can’t smile, it hurts too much. Curving my mouth into a soft crescent, even though my eyes burn with sadness.
Mostly I hate it when people ask me how I am. How can I answer? That I don’t want to die, but don’t want to live either. It easier to just say “I’m fine” even though it’s a lie.
Sometimes the feeling of desperation and anger bubble too close to the surface and I feel like I’m going to explode. Why do I feel like this? How come nobody else seems to?
I work in construction. My work mates are not the type that you can talk to, besides the usual banter. I wouldn’t know where to start anyway. The lads joke about my drinking and it’s a laugh. I’m the one who always gets smashed on nights out. I can never seem to stop at a few pints, I don’t want to.
The drink gives me peace for a while, it makes me forget. It doesn’t last and I always over-due it, because I don’t want the void to return. It’s f**ked up I know. One time I even ended up getting arrested, I was so ashamed.
Five weeks and four days ago, I reached my lowest point. Sat crying in my car like a baby, I couldn’t make the journey to work. I pulled over on the motorway and cried until my throat hurt. Something broke. Eventually the police turned up, but I didn’t feel a thing and I just didn’t care anymore.
I didn’t expect the police to be so kind, but they were, from what I can remember. They took me home and rang my mum. I was really embarrassed about that. She burst into tears too when she came over and asked if I was ready to talk about being depressed.
Hearing the word out loud was so weird. Until then, I wasn’t sure that’s what the void was, and it was even weirder that my mum knew. Crying again, I thought I’d ruined my life. What would my employer think and my mates? I was finished.
The next week is hazy. I stayed in bed for a few days, as I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than ten minutes. Then one night, I randomly watched a documentary on Youtube that Professor Green did. He talked about his own demons and the suicide in his family. It struck a chord.
Even though I still felt embarrassed, for the first time I thought about going to see a doctor. I’d never been before because I had a fear of the void appearing on my records.
It was awkward, as I got a bit emotional again. But I was glad to finally admit it. The doctor explained how common it was and that medication could help. So I’ve been taking ‘happy pills,’ for over a month now and just last week I started seeing a councillor. It’s early days, but I feel hopeful for the first time in a long time.
Work have been really great too. After the doctor signed me off for two months, they got in touch and said they’d be happy to keep me on full pay, which was a relief. A few of the lads have text too, asking how I am and wishing me well.
After living with the void secretly for so many years, it’s strange that now everyone knows. But I feel better for it, like a weight has been lifted. I’m now beginning to understand that I have depression and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Hopefully one day I’ll have the confidence to write a post as myself, rather than anonymous.