It’s like a shadow.
The constant threatening presence, somewhere beneath the surface, of the depression, my depression, for it sometimes feels like a parasitic pet that I have welcomed grudgingly into my home. It's always, always there, waiting for the tiniest crack or fissure in me, in my demeanor, in my shell. So it can ooze out and consume my being.
Is this how it will be? Forever? An unnamed, faceless monster that lives within, ready to pounce out at a moment’s notice, sitting skulking in a corner when I'm happy, resentful like a petulant child. Begrudging me every moment of joy. Raising its head, hopefully sniffing the air when things start to go wrong, when insecurities and doubts and let-downs, hell when life gets in the way of things, when the hay cart you're so merrily rolling down on suddenly hits a pothole, and things come to a shuddering, sudden halt; that's when it comes joyously bounding up to tear and claw at your insides, demanding to be let out.
And let it out you do, because you're too defenseless, too weak to hold it back, because you've all but given up fighting. And once it’s out there, once it's no longer caged, it celebrates its freedom by embracing you like an old friend; with no intentions of ever letting go.
You give into it. You withdraw further into yourself until you're reduced to a fraction of yourself, until only a faint glimmer of the person you used to be is visible.
It takes over your entire life. Your interactions with people, your habits, your attitude. Responsibilities and relationships and carefully constructed frameworks for the life you could have all break down, for they are new, made from fresh bamboo shoots, and not strong young trunks like those of others your age. Tentatively put there by you, held together by flimsy gossamer thread.
But fragile; so, so fragile.
It starts living your life for you. You are the puppet; it holds the strings.
So you recede. There is a place, somewhere deep inside of your own self, a tiny place, where you can withdraw and be safe, lock all doors, shutter yourself out. Be sad all you want in there, cry your eyes out, be fucking devastated and torn up for no reason. No one will care. No one will give a shit.
You tire yourself out eventually, and then your emotions start cutting off one by one. It’s like in James and the giant peach, when they want to drop the peach a little bit, they cut the cord to one of the many seagulls keeping them afloat. And the peach drops just a tiny bit, and this is how they control the pattern of their flight.
You’re like the peach. Except you're hitting rock bottom much faster, and you cannot exactly comprehend what's happening. Because you've stopped caring. You've stopped feeling. You react to terrible news and happy news and heart wrenching news the same way, the only way you know how: with stone faced stoicism. You actually have to consciously mold your face into the appropriate expressions whenever around people, have to actively remind yourself to punctuate conversations with nods and hums and hahs.
You become adept at pretending, and you resign yourself to this life.
Things are pretty much fucked. Everything is pointless. Nothing matters.
I don't remember exactly what it was that brought me out. I was under for such a long time that I sometimes fear I'll never be able to fully function again, and when I sometimes relapse for a day or two or three, I am honestly scared out of my fucking mind of how bad it can get. I never want to go back there again. This is not how life is supposed to be lived.
I don't have it all figured out. I don't know how it is that life ought to be lived, but I'm trying, I'm trying the best that I can to stay afloat. I just hope... I just hope that there are a few buoys around to help me, just in case.
I watched a film the other day, a film called 'detachment'. There was a lot of Adrian Brody face staring with melancholy eyes at the camera, saying profound sad things. But there was one thing he said that really hit home.
That helplessness, that realization, that foreboding of being adrift in a sea with no buoy, no safety net when you thought you'd be the one throwing the buoy . . .
Really though. When did it all become so utterly, unfix-ably fucked. I was supposed to have this figured out.