You’re not alone.

You wake up from a nightmare and it’s dark. But not your bedroom’s normal darkness. The dream left you feeling subject to a sense of evil. And you feel alone. You don’t wake your partner sleeping soundly next to you because they don’t deserve to feel this. So you sit alone in the darkness, the blackness feeling as though it will consume you.

The loneliness is a crushing weight. The evil from this dream makes you feel isolated, as if not a soul on Earth could make it go away.

The feeling subsides enough for you to fall back asleep, and you are able to utilize lucid dreaming to create a somewhat better outcome to the dream.

But the feeling still lurks there the next day, waiting for a vulnerable moment, to drag you back in…

This actually happened to me this week. The dream was awful, and I awoke shaking uncontrollably.

I asked myself why it affected me so much, and this is the answer I came up with: the feeling of being truly alone.

It’s been a rough week for me. I was bit in the face by a dog and went to the doctor to get some antibiotics to prevent infection. I was very upset by the whole ordeal, not because of the bite but because of my pride (I am a vet tech and feel that I could have prevented the situation, even though that’s not true, per everyone who saw it. Totally a pride thing on my part). Anyway, I started the antibiotics, and for days I just felt like I wasn’t recovering from the incident. The depression was worse than it has been in a long time.

I felt like I couldn’t do anything. It was hard to even walk across the room. I kept asking myself, “what is wrong with me?” I attributed all this to the dog bite incident. But I was wrong.

On a whim, several days after the whole ordeal, I asked Google if there is a link between antibiotics and depression, and the short answer is: YES. They can make depression worse in some individuals.

I knew at that moment that the antibiotics were exacerbating the depression, rather severely. But here’s the thing: as soon as I realized this, I felt a little better. The darkness retreated, not a lot, but enough to be noticed.

So how is this crazy dream loneliness and my shitty week connected?

I know I’m not alone.

And as soon as I realized that I’m not the only one, things started looking up. I’m not the only person who suffers from depression. I’m not the only one who feels isolated. I’m not the only one whose anti-depressant experience made things worse, and supposedly made me more susceptible to depression from other drugs as well.

We are everywhere, and I feel that it is important for everyone like me to open up with their experiences. Doesn’t matter who we open up to, it just matters that we accept this as a part of us. The more we deny it, the more it will eat away at our very souls. If we face it, we can fight it.

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