“One of the toughest challenges I face living with an invisible illness is explaining to others what it’s like to be in my head. From the long anxious nights fighting insomnia to struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed most mornings, one of the only ways I’m able to explain what it’s like to grapple with my persistent depression is by using analogies.
Analogies help me to be both creative and descriptive as I paint a mental image of my experiences. The most recent analogy I’ve used to explain my depression to my therapist is the most spot-on, especially since this year has been my toughest one yet.
My analogy goes a little like this: Living with persistent depressive disorder is like a series of dark tunnels in my mind. There are no lights at the end of any of these tunnels. Instead, the lights are in small pockets underneath street lamps surrounded by fireflies. These fireflies represent strength, reassurance, and growth. And although they aren’t everlasting, I can use what I’ve learned from them while I continue to crawl along in my dark tunnel.
I’m proud to know my toolbox is filled with everything I’ve learned in the light, but that doesn’t make my darkness end — I face that reality every day. But with that knowledge, I can keep going because I know I’ll soon reach another bright pocket.