Staring into nothing. A glance at the clock tells me it’s 3:00. I look again and it’s 7:40. I sigh, deep emptiness, blankly taking in the photographs that I set up for the purpose of self inspiration. I’m trapped in my head but my thoughts are unorganized and coded. My mind is a bridge suspended between two worlds. My battle is a constant weaving in and out of reality. Images and energies blur through my minds eye. I reach for some music and blare it loud, drowning out the dark shudders of deeply buried vulnerability. Words and images blend on the page, giving me little reason to ignite their story. Why do I create? Why do I delve into abstractions and fantasy? My strength is in the absence of reality, in my imaginative mind. I can spin a tale. What is that worth? Nothing.
It was only when my thoughts circled to that one empty yet resonating word that I realized I may be depressed. Still it was a question I didn’t readily answer.
I’m not good at real life. I’m never on time, my living space is a mess, I’m completely daft at planning for anything, my relationships are out of control, anything formal or mathematical sends back radio noise in my head, I have an innate dislike for conventional footwear, hair-wear, and most wear-wear, I can’t sit still when I’m supposed to, I can’t remember what I did this week, and I’m sorry but I have no idea what you just said. I go through life in a general confusion, interrupted by the occasional, “huh?” and “What’s going on?” and a few words from loved ones like, “Sophia, I’ve told you over and over again!” and “I called your name like ten times!”
“You don’t care about anything!”
“Why don’t you ever talk to me?”
“You mean you don’t have a plan?”
and also, “You’re the coolest most inspirational person I’ve ever met.” to which I respond, “…huh?”
“You’re authentic.” “You’re kind.” “Insightful” “Joyful” “Peaceful” “Adventurous” “Brilliant” “Fun” “Wise” “Courageous” “Witty” “Lovely”
But I’m also unfocused, passive aggressive, soft spoken (unless I’m forcing otherwise), angry, moody, self absorbed, vain, self debasing, and incurably zany.
Okay, okay. I’m awesome. I’m also pathetic.
“Don’t say that about yourself.”
What, that I’m awesome? You’re right that was a bit narcissistic…
What purpose do I have? Would I be so bothered if the pressure weren’t imposed on me from every outside force? I’m sure I would be content to run barefoot, covered in paint smudges dirt scrapes and paper cuts, eating dandelions and talking to squirrels for the rest of my life.
And then Gandalf the great wizard would come knocking at my door…
There again, down the rabbit hole.
“Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and fortunately was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.”
Where am I?!
That would make a great plot for a book. A struggling artist who’s constantly plagued by projections of his creations… No, cartoonist, that would add a psychedelic factor. I’d like to see that in movie format… “Alex Dumphrey was out of work, out of mind, and out of time, but he couldn’t get back to the drawing board because the drawing board came to him.”
I had a point earlier.
I think I may be depressed.
My ability to come out of my world depends on the safety and intrigue of this one. This world has to be as rich and fulfilling as anything that I can dream. When I’m bored, I tune out. When I’m overstimulated, I tune out. When I’m frustrated, alone, sad, angry, afraid, tired, hungry… happy… basically anything but tranquility, excitement, safe expression, obsession, rage, and hysteria, I’m tuning out. When my relation to the physical world becomes too painful I simply leave the part of my mind that knows about it. An odd quirk of this is a high pain tolerance. I don’t notice physical pain like I should, but it shows a more sinister side when I’m abandoned by my emotions and they become a world of their own.
“I’m fine.” I say, but only because the answer, “I don’t know.” isn’t accepted by most. I assume I must be okay.
I think I may not be okay.
When I tell people I don’t feel anything it goes over their heads. I see their dead gaze, ‘does not compute’. This is the simplified answer and is only part of the truth. My feelings are so introverted that I can’t reach them with my conscious mind unless I pick them up and place them in the light. I feel deeply. So deeply that it takes unnatural action for it to surface. Everything goes in not out. I can’t so easily tell you how I feel, but I can take in what you feel. What is in my surroundings. Describing myself requires a reverse action that is not possible so quickly in so casual a setting.
This, ‘am I depressed’ shouldn’t be a question but still it is. I do not have a definitive answer.
I am losing control of my mind. Blank spaces in my memory are becoming worse. An entire summer nearly erased, and now events that I remember reciting but cannot remember experiencing. When I try to delve into what may be there, there is a violent flash behind my eyes, a foggy scream in my ears, and the feeling of barbed wire constricting my brain. My heart beats painfully and I sense that I’m about to die unless I run. Psychologists call this the ‘fight or flight’ response that is triggered through trauma. I may be able to focus enough to gather fragments of memory, but the agony is so great it’s as if I’m being split from the inside out. My scream is caught in my swollen throat as my breathing thickens. There’s gotta be a way out of here. I shake my head convincing myself to stay. It’s okay. I am safe. I am safe. No one is hurting me…
This gap in consciousness was getting better, but has been progressing over the past month.
I stood at the foot of my parents bed, consumed by insidious torment. I could not speak but I peered through my hair, my eyes dark and heavy.
“If you’re going to stand there are you going to say something?” She zealously punched the air with her words. “What? What do you want?”
I shook my head, gasping for air to open my throat. The words spilled from some concealed fire. “I hate you both so much right now.” The agony finally broke through my face, begging, yearning for some relief. No. No, NO, NO! This will end! It must end! “Why?” I finally mustered. “Why are you doing this to me?”
Her face remained hard and resolved, no obvious sympathy. “It’s what I want.” she said.
I choked, amazed by what poured out of me. Things I didn’t know were still there.
“I just want something to be mine. I want to be safe. Why has no one ever protected me?!” I gasped and swallowed. “He hurts me. My whole life he’s been hurting me. You don’t care! You let him! You do it too!” I cried. “Why?”
Why don’t you want to protect me?
I continued to stand still, completely defenseless while she explained that it doesn’t matter what I want because she knows what she wants with her life. “It won’t be like before.” she said, “If he does it again he’s leaving this time.”
No. I shook my head violently, helplessly clasping my ears at the familiar words.
“Well if you don’t want to hear, why are you still standing there?”
I felt young. Unbearably young and helpless, yet so broken in with years. “It’s too late for me.” said my muffled voice. “It’s too late to save my childhood. That’s gone.”
She stared back in silence.
“Jesse and Joshua may still have a chance. Make it right for them. Don’t let them be like me.” I threw my head back looking up at the ceiling. “It’s unlikely they will make the same choices I have. It was a chance that I found the right path.You’re destroying them.”
She argued. “We are not destroying them. No one has been destroyed.”
I hid my eyes. “… I am.”
“No Sophia, you are not destroyed. You’ve deserved better. You deserve so much better than what he’s given you. It doesn’t even compare. It will be okay. It will be different this time. He’s not hurting anyone.”
I gave in, abandoning my right to speak. It made no difference.
“Do you want a hug?” she asked for the first time in my life.
I hesitated, but nodded. She put her arms around me and I hopelessly poured out from the temporary opening of my soul. I don’t believe you.
How am I?
What I buried is where this story left off. I can’t reach it anymore. This was the last night that I felt everything. I don’t know what is and what isn’t. I can’t feel the pattern of life. Night and day I’m haunted by restlessness and my spirit is wild, yet I’m unsure of what I feel. That is not the line that curious inquirers are looking for.
I struggle to know God at this time in my waking sleep.
Where is he while I slumber? He is here, but I cannot see.
I cannot surrender parts of myself that are unreachable.
I wanna know who You are
that You can fix my heart
And I don’t have to run anymore
Open my eyes
let me see
Give me hope and set me free
Cause I don’t wanna be the way I was before
If You could make the sun burn through the night
And You could make the dead man come alive
If You could make the oceans all run dry
Then I know You can change my life
I know You can change my life
Give me something to believe in
Something worth fighting for
Something that I can’t ignore
You could make the sun burn through the night
You could make the oceans all run dry
I need you to change my life
-Ashes Remain, “Change My Life”
- Down the Rabbit Hole of Depression (myocddiaries.wordpress.com)
- Searching for a Tragedy (generationawkwarducsd.wordpress.com)
- Awakening in the chaos of Life (nedburwell.wordpress.com)
- It’s Been A While… (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)