The list of symptoms is cold, spare and clinical.
Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, making decisions. Fatigue and decreased energy. Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness. Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping. Irritability and restlessness. Loss of interest in activities or hobbies you once enjoyed. Overeating or appetite loss. Aches and pains. Sadness. Anxiety. “Empty” feelings.
But the list of symptoms for clinical depression leaves out one thing: the anger.
You read a page ten times and flit back and forth from word to word, retaining nothing, and you’re angry with yourself for your inability to concentrate.
You stare at the remote or the keys or the pills three feet away and lazily stretch out your arm, and it’s not coming to hand and so you give up, and hate yourself for the bone-tiredness that doesn’t jibe at all with the twelve hours of sleep you just threw yourself into.
You snap at your best friend, say something mean and unfair and you loathe yourself for directing all the bad feelings twisting around in your brain toward a person you love.
You slide from thought to thought, unable to stay in one place, unable to think of anything that would make this better, that would make you better, that would constitute a place you wanted to be or a thing you wanted to be doing.
You find yourself surrounded by empty fast-food wrappers and untouched assignments. You watch your life creak by in the slowest seconds and you are angry, so angry that you let yourself get here, that you let yourself become this person who couldn’t be fixed forever, who gets better then slides back down into the muck.
And then, every time, you look in the mirror and forgive yourself for being sad. Because you have to move on. You have to get out of bed. You have to understand that it isn’t your fault and wouldn’t matter if it was.
You are angry, but the world is waiting. It’s time to be alive.