It’s been a while, my old friend. A good few months since you last dragged me into the deep, dark pits of despair. Kicking and screaming, if I remember rightly? Claw marks in dirt, screeching like a banshee. I may have put up a fight, but you got me in the end. You always do.
And here we are again. Shall I hang up your jacket and fetch you some tea? I take it you’ll be staying a while. Why don’t you take a seat and tell me what brings you here? I’m curious to know why you’ve come back with a vengeance.
Let me guess…
Was it the twinkle in my eyes? The curvature of my lips? The sound sweet sound of laughter, perhaps? Oh, I know… it’s that ‘H’ word I dare to speak. The one that has you covering your ears and shrieking “Nooooo, nooooo…. You can’t possibly be happy!?”
Such a killjoy, you are!
Let’s be honest, you’ve always despised watching me thrive, haven’t you? Nothing makes you seethe more than seeing me on top of things. Seeing me getting on with my life. For if there is a parade, you are sure to pour on it…
and that, you most certainly did.
I should have shooed you away the moment I felt your looming presence. But, as always, you just waltz right in and make yourself at home. Don’t you ever knock? Mouth to letterbox; It’s me again, your old friend, Depression. I just thought I’d drop by and make your life a living hell!
You thought wrong.
I try to hide and pretend you aren’t here, but there’s just no escaping you. Wherever I turn, you are there. Repulsively smug. The more I try to fight it, the more you draw me in. A moth to a dancing flame. You have wormed your way into my brain; I am hypnotised, magnetised, under your spell.
I don’t know how you do it? You just seem to have this hold over me. Like a puppet on a string, you manipulate my every move. I’m dancing, collapsing, crawling, sinking deeper into the palm of your hand. And all you can do is laugh.
How small you make me feel.
You’ve been with me for a while now. Most of my adult life. Things were okay in the beginning; a few tears here and there – nothing I couldn’t handle. But then your disguise fell – an almighty thud to the ground – and you became this BIG AGGRESSIVE monster.
You taunted me at night. You shattered my self-esteem. You turned everyone against me and made me feel alone in the world. You made me cry so much I could barely catch a breath. You made me feel like I was losing my mind.
You even made me question my existence.
And as I sat in bed one night, cradling my tear-soaked pillow, I questioned whether you really cared for me at all.
I never wanted things between us to get this intense. To go this far. I guess I used to seek some sort comfort in you. You carried me through those darker times. You were there in times of need… or so I thought. What I failed to see, was that you were actually rejoicing in my misery all along. How devious you were. The weaker I became, the stronger you grew. A mere parasite; sucking away my energy and draining me of life.
Depression, you may think that you have won, but you are wrong. So wrong. Now the veil has fallen and the darkness has ceased, I can see YOU for who YOU really are – A bullying, attention-seeking, parasitic … fragment of my imagination.
You heard me correctly. You don’t really exist.
I used to think I could rid you with a bottle of pills. Sure, they helped quieten your repetitive drone for a while… but you were still there. I used to think I could destroy you with therapy or an abundance of self-help books … but as soon as my mind was still, you’d come creeping back in. I used to think that I could slay you with exercise and healthy living… but who was I kidding?
You always came back.
You came back because I welcomed you back and I called you mine. I thought I owned you, but you clearly owned me. I fed you and continued to do so…
Well, not anymore!
I might not have a choice in how I feel, but I do have a choice in whether I give you power or not. I do have a choice in whether I continue to give you a name, a title, a persona.
Depression, I used to think that I was lumbered with you. A lifetime shackled to the dreaded D-word. But, the beautiful truth is; you’re only real if I allow you to be real. You’re not going to like this, but I’m taking back control. It’s my turn to have power…OVER YOU! I’m tearing off the chains and I’m trading you in for a ‘slightly less’ threatening fella, called sadness? Um, no …’I’m not okay?’ No, wait, ‘A little off-peak?’ Umm…
In fact, I’m not going to label it at all. It is what it is. And sometimes, it’s okay not to feel okay. It’s okay not be on top of things. It’s okay to feel like I can’t cope.
Like the simplest tasks are the equivalent of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Like the world is passing by while I lie stagnant.
Like nobody could possibly understand the unremitting battle inside my brain.
This is life.
This is reality.
This is emotion at its rawest.
This is being ALIVE.
And, as I bid you farewell, I take comfort in knowing this feeling will soon pass and I will be ‘OKAY’ again. Perhaps, more than just okay? Maybe even that word that scares you the most… that scares ME the most.
Depression, it’s been eventful knowing you… but please take your jacket and leave. I believe you have outstayed your welcome.
Your old friend,