The darkness crushed me. The weight on my chest grew bigger and breathing became more difficult. I could feel the depths of despair pulling me down into the black abyss of my brain.
I didn’t know it at the time but this thing was slowly killing me. It was taking over my life and I was letting it.
What could I do though? How could I stop this feeling from engulfing me in my entirety?
I heard it, but barely registered its meaning.
I don’t know how I knew what these words even meant but I suddenly felt myself trying.
The first breathe was the hardest. It was like drinking ice-cold water after chewing spearmint gum. It felt like breathing in was taking away even more air. I couldn’t do it, it was too hard and too restricting, I wanted to cry but nothing came out.
Everything started to freeze, I got cold and the darkness was winning. I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t think, I could just feel and it was too much to feel right now.
You held my hand. For the first time in what felt like forever there was some warmth. Just a little bit. At the tip of my fingers, the warmth was there. Barely. But it was something to hold onto.
I didn’t understand what was happening with me. This caused the panic to come back; had it been ten seconds or ten hours? I didn’t know. I just knew that I didn’t know and that was terrifying.
The tears finally started to roll down my face. I was sliding down the wall to the floor as my legs could no longer hold me up. This was it, I finally understood that there was no coming back.
My butt hit the ground and I crumbled. I heard you coming. After what felt like years you finally engulfed me. You held me in your arms like a child, patting my hair while I shook, cried and let go of everything I didn’t realize I was holding onto.
I didn’t realize this was what I needed to live. I need to feel safe, present and loved.
You started to do this with me; you held my face and took deep breathes. To my surprise, the more I did this the less intrusive it felt. The more I realized that I needed this to survive. To pull myself out of the darkness, I needed to breathe and be present.
I needed to feel your hug, and hear your words. I needed to be here in the moment feeling everything to truly heal myself. You continued to remind me to keep breathing; you continued to hold me and you continued to save me.
Such a simple statement, but in the darkest depths of my depression, these are the words that saved me.
These are the words that I held onto. These are the words that saved my soul.