Trapped in a Dark Forest


I struggle when people tell me ‘don’t worry, there is always light at the end of the tunnel,’ if I am in a depressive episode.

Figure in a dark tunnel with a light at the end

I struggle with this because people often talk about ‘light at the end of the tunnel’after a near-death experience. They often collectively describe seeing a tunnel with a bright light at the end of it. I don’t want to feel like I am having a near-death experience or have arrived at my final destination. That scares me so much.

I prefer to tell people my experience of depression is feeling trapped in a dark, misty forest, with trees in every direction and no visible way out. I flounder around, tripping on tree roots and scratching my skin on branches and brambles.

I can see shadowy shapes and far-off movement. I can hear whispers and sniggers. I can feel the damp, cold air on my skin and smell the foul aroma of rotting vegetation.

I wander in circles, backtracking to and fro, left and right, but cannot find a way out. But, I know I must keep going and keep searching. I know that the sunlight is out there and one day I will see it again. No matter how hard or painful it has been so far, I have managed to keep going. I am holding on to hope, even though it hurts so much. I have done it before and I will do it again. Just a few more steps … and I see the sunshine in the distance. The blue sky is waiting to greet me.

Photo of trees

Photo Credit: (c) Can Stock Photo

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