(I have often struggled with saying the word depression in a sentence. I hated the things it was always associated with: I was not weak, I had just lost my ability to be strong; I was not sad, I was just unhappy, anxious, frustrated, angry and guilty; I didn’t slit my wrists, but I self harmed by putting myself in situations that I knew would inflict emotional harm; I didn’t want to die, I just didn’t want to actively participate in living my life.
Depression is the type of killer that keeps his hands clean while turning you against yourself. It has you holding yourself hostage at gunpoint, asking for a ransom price of love and rescue. And those around you don’t even know how many battles you face in your own head, before the actual battle of life starts. How you beat yourself up over everything, but long to be saved from your own self.
Depression is actually a smart killer too, It kills their victims in such a way that most, actually do not die, until it is by natural causes. It cowardly scavenges on insecurities and paranoia. It merely taunts its victims, daily, quietly, violently without the world knowing. You live out your entire life course feeling guilty about being alive, frustrated by how life is and too cowardly to end it, and sadly some do.
It is a mental disorder, it is much like trying to convince people that a beautifully furnished house with a white picket fence is actually haunted. Ghosts don’t exclusively occupy old, run-down houses, they can occupy beautiful new homes too, because, well, we all have shadows equal to our light.
Like Aids, and Cancer, there is no cure, despite the fact that it is often treated like an “imagined” illness. Anti-depressants, therapy, and anxiety medication are coping mechanisms but happiness cannot be produced and packaged in a science lab. Some battles are of the spirit (not restricted to Christianity).
The night I wrote this –over a year ago was darker than most. If ever you relate, I hope you have the courage to identify all your demons before you try fight them, I hope you address them all and negotiate peace with those that can’t be won over yet. Never deny any battle that you are facing because society shames it as weak, there is no dignity in suffering silently and God-willing, someday it will be a little less harder to be alive)
Last night… you took all the pills you had in your possession
You stacked the guilt in the hollow of your spine and rose up to stare accusingly at your reflection, you pushed your chest out, filled with yellow pus and blood from the bruises when you beat your heart for its stupidity. You stretched the folds in your shoulder blades, and felt the tiny spears of tension stretch with it.
You held your grief like a stillborn infant and cradled it with your fingers intertwined, so that its coldness rested on your palms. You stared accusingly at your grief as though to resuscitate the depth back into its ice-cold eyes.
You stacked all the will you had in your possession against all the colourful pills you owned, and you stared at the clutter, taking all 87 of them with your eyes, but your hands did not move. Your tears they burst like army jets leaving base for war and collided underneath your chin to fall somewhere and dry, even they looked accusingly at you, wondering where your will was to wipe them away.
Your breathing, it left like a frail blind prisoner feeling his way against a stone cold dungeon, like sand through an hour glass pushing up the a tiny cylinder instead of falling down. And the time, it stood still didn’t it?
10pm: you wondered what the world would think. The phone call to your mother earlier, how you had woken her, and how she said she had failed as a mother when she heard you crying, you sniffed and told her your were okay. She would die if you did. Maybe she would stay alive as brittle skin, but her frame, her structures and hard cavaties would dissolve at your death and you know it. She put everything she had in your creation, she thought it would be safe there, she watered you with her own failed attempts as lessons for your life. She woke to dress you in blankets you had refused while awake so she could have something to keep warm. She gave everything to you -and to take this one thing from yourself, would take everything away from her.
You remember a poem about depression, and the suicide notes starting with the lines “I’m sorry but I really, really tried” but don’t reach for paper or pen because you think you didn’t try to live. You dragged yourself through survival, so actually… you’re not even worthy of death… You talk loudly to yourself. Silently, you say to yourself, “You don’t have the balls to do it” and you don’t argue back. You know. You just wanted to go, as close to the edge as possible to scare yourself into running back, but it didn’t work. Instead, you sat by the edge taunting your cowardness to jump.
You yell, “Where the hell are you god” with the entirety of your chest cavity but no sound comes out, its all just air pressing against the lining of your rib cage. You take out your bible and threaten god, “say something before I do something stupid, don’t you freakin’ care… don’t you care?!”
“Tell me you want me to live god...” you sit, dead still, bible in hand, hoping you angered god enough with your cussing and blasphemy for him to say something; turn you into a salt statue, strike you with instant blindness; set the pot plants outside your window on fire; talk to you… but nothing. Silence. You want to be close to Him, you want to pray and you will take His physical wrath in place of intangible blessings as means to feel He exists. You open your bible with an accusing glare at psalm 71, where god keeps silent about your anger. You read and reread the words searching for a crease or raised eyebrow on His face and find nothing, you close you bible and say nothing.
Brown and yellow antibiotic capsules, round yellow painkillers, white round painkillers, red anti-inflammatories. Tiny orange and brown multivitamin pebbles, tiny green iron tablets. Brazapen. A tray of green painkillers with two missing. One and a half trays of depramil. You scoop them up in your hands. You run through a list of people you can tell about this, who will tie themselves to something solid and come get you, but you just don’t want the world to know.
In the belly of the dawn, where the silence had swallowed and silenced, you pack up your pills into their separate zip lock bags, and crawl your puffy eyes into bed to sleep.
You’ll try again tomorrow