An Excess of Emptiness
I have heard often that depression is characterized by an excess of sadness, of despair, of grief. And I guess this is true in some cases. But for me, what I felt was more of an emptiness. A lack of sadness, a lack of happiness, a lack of anything for that matter. It wasn’t just my stomach that was empty. It was my heart. It was my soul. It was my will to get out of bed. I wondered what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I feel something, anything? Was it too much to ask for to feel pain? The hollowness, after awhile it started to eat away at me. I would lie down in bed before I went to sleep and think of the happiest memories, the saddest memories I had experienced...anything to just force me to feel something. And still nothing. I thought of September 22nd, 2010, the day I answered the phone to my father telling me I had a new, baby brother. I remembered running upstairs as fast as I could and screaming the good news to my sisters. Together, we jumped on the couch. We just held hands and laughed and smiled and cried and jumped. We felt a fullness like no other. I thought of this memory, and the facts were present. But that fullness, that sensation of warmth and comfort and hope...none of it was there. I felt nothing. It was as if I forgot how to feel. I was becoming a robot—the language of love I once was fluent in was now foreign. I wish I could tell you that this made me sick to my stomach. But, that would require me to actually care. And one can’t care in an excess of emptiness. I know I’m not being all that positive. I guess I just wanted to let those readers who are having difficulty perceiving emotion that I, too, have been there. And I know that this hollowness is perhaps the most terrifying thing in the world. Trust me, I know. Do you want to know how I freed myself from this nothingness? That’s easy and difficult and simple and impossible—I surrounded myself with everything.