Numb vs. Empty

If empty means void, or not containing anything, or unfilled, or nothing, why is it the only thing I can feel?

Take a deep breath in.

Hold it…

Don’t let it out…

Keep holding…

A little longer…

Have you reached the point where the air feels like its about to burst out of you? Does it feel like you are completely filled with air, nothing else? Can you not feel, or even think, about anything else besides the air? Thats what empty feels like.

Whenever I talk to people about my depression I always say how empty I felt. I tell them about how I would lay on my bed, starring at the wall for 3 or 4 hours and not realize any time had even passed. I was what most people describe as numb. I choose to say empty instead. I see a big difference between those two words; Numb is when you don’t have feelings. Empty is when you don’t have anything. You can be numb but still feel other things, like the blanket under your hands, or the feeling of being sleepy. If you’re empty you don’t feel anything, you don’t realize you have a blanket in your hands, you don’t see the clock striking 5am. Emptiness has always been really terrifying for me, it’s not something I ever want to experience again.

The best way I’ve ever heard emptiness described was in a book, written by Suzanne Young. The character was talking about depression in general, not specifically emptiness, but thats the great thing about reading. You can take anything you read, remove the plot, and let it mean anything.

“It’s like being dead but still conscious.”

When I read those words, they really stuck with me. I was in a dark place, I was empty, but those words sparked something inside me. I suddenly realized that I wasn’t alive. (No.. not literally) What I mean is, I wasn’t living, I was just there. Although the quote is a little dark, it will always be one of my favourites, because it was those words that brought me back to life.

I’m not going to lie and say as soon as I read this quote the clouds cleared and I was magically happy and cheerful. Geez, I read that book almost 2 years ago and I’m still not “healed”. But it was that moment that I realized shit needed to change. I needed to start looking for something to pull me out of my grave.

Thankfully something did, because my claustrophobia would not do well with 8 x 2 x 6.

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