Saturday, January 14, 2012
The thing about depression is that it's like a drug. It's something you feel like you can control in an uncontrollable world, when really it's just controlling you. Being someone who suffers from chronic depression is like being an alcoholic. You may not be drinking, but that doesn't make you less of an alcoholic. You may not be sad, but that doesn't make you less depressed. Every morning, you wake up and you choose happiness. Or you choose contentment. Some days the choice wins. And some days the depression wins. Some days it feels so much easier to let the darkness seep over you like a warm blanket in a cold world. I feel the shadows inching up my body, starting at my feet. They are heavy on my shoes and make every step feel like walking through sludge. Then as I stumble, as days pass, I feel them creep up to my knees. And before I can fight any harder, there they are at my waist. I am only a torso of put-togetherness, clawing through the mornings, pining for the afternoons when I can go home and lay on the couch and let them lap at my stomach like the cool easy waves of an incoming tide. The days are easy for a week or so. So easy I forget to look at the progress of the darkness. By the time I catch a glance in the mirror only my shoulders are exposed. My arms and hands are doing things I can't control, things I'm not even conscious of because the shadows are moving them with little strings of emotion like puppets and a mandolin. And one day I wake up and it's just easier to let the sadness cover over my eyes so I don't have to pretend to see past it anymore. The world is blanketed in a dark red. Not blood red. Not scarlet red. A red that has been stained by age. A grey, lifeless, ugly red that in no way represents the beautiful vibrant colors of my youth. This fall looks like defeat, but it feels far from it. If feels like... Relief. If only for a moment. Relief from the fight. Relief from the climb. I take a deep breath in the darkness and the air is stale. But it doesn't catch in my throat. It fills my lungs and sends a chill through my veins. The breath is deep, but it is empty. Like gasping at the top of a mountain. The thinness of it relieves only the edge of your souls thirst for sustenance. It's like taking it in is worse than taking nothing. I'm tired. Exhausted. I know I'm not where I should be but the thought of trying to get anywhere is so far in the furthest depths of my mind that the possibility of it seems ludicrous. How long must I wait in these shadows till a light will show itself to me again so I may seek it? How long must I breathe this empty air until enough of something has reached me that I can have the strength to get up again? ... Maybe tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow there will be a new chance to make what was wrong right again. But tomorrow or the next tomorrow, the cycle will begin again. I will slough off this skin and start over. A few days, maybe even a few weeks, sometimes a whole month will go by and I will be strong enough to withstand the accumulating weight on my ankles. But it's only a matter of time before a single fall will leave me waist deep again. And then I will find myself here, in the comfort of the shadows. Again. Comfort because at least when I am here, I am not fighting.