what depression feels like

What It Feels Like To Have A Depressive Episode

By Kimberly Zapata

It has been a difficult month. A dark and dreary month. A wet, impossibly cold, and impossibly painful month. My bones ache. My joints ache. My mind is racing, and my heart is heavy. And, as such, I have drawn the curtains. I have hidden under the covers. I have closed every door, and I have shut down. Completely. And totally.

Don’t get me wrong: Most days I manage to function. I get up and shower. I make my daughter breakfast and get dressed. And we go grocery shopping, or I take her to school. But some days, I face the world because I have to — not because I want to. I face the world because I have no choice.

I am functional, but not fully aware. I am moving, but not feeling. I am surviving, but not living.

If you’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing me this month, you may know what I mean. You may have noticed my fake smiles, the way I have been busying myself with menial tasks — things like reordering our kitchen cabinets or scrubbing baseboards and wiping down ceiling fans. You may have noticed I will only talk about topical things, i.e. the weather, pop culture, and current events. And you may have noticed my insane work schedule, i.e. I have too many deadlines; I have taken too much on.

This distracted, autopilot version of me is the only way I know how to survive. Sometimes, this distracted, autopilot version of me is the only way I stay alive.

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