Life has been good to me recently. Depression is not only depleting, but it's damn boring for you, the sufferer, as well as the poor sods that have to listen to you maundering on.
Depression is essentially a limitation on the act of living. Sure, you can surround yourself with family, friends, loved ones, coin and cultural capital, but everything can feel like a never-ending to-do list; chores that have to be ticked off in order for one to keep up the facade that everything is fine.
But if depression is a lifelong condition, as it is in my case, it threatens to blacken out the sun for long stretches of time. A week of visits from the black dog, as they say in the UK, becomes a month and that month can stretch out to years, maybe even a decade, as has been the case with me.
A decade of the black dog. A decade of bone-to-marrow deep brain fog and sluggishness and straightforward unhappiness.
But my story is a lucky one, beloved reader.
The depression is lifting gradually, and I'm slowly feeling more alive and alert. My focus is sharp, my sense of recall even sharper. I no longer feel like I'm in a self-constructed prison.
During this past decade of severe depression, I learned the following:
— Do not be afraid to make space for people who simply want to be in your orbit. Do not be afraid to allow the goodness of others to permeate your life no matter how painful it initially feels.
— Do not be afraid to hope in the dark, darling reader, because your sense of hope is yours. Depression cannot steal your innate sense of optimism no matter how much it headbutts you into thinking otherwise.
— Do not be afraid to ask for professional help. Do not be afraid even though fear is the fluid syntax of this specific struggle.
And, finally, try to remember that it will subside.
It might take a day or two. It might even take a month or a decade, but it will subside, darling reader.
Get professional help and hope/ hope/ hope for the best. You'll get there in the end, I promise you.
Image by DIRIYE OSMAN and JAROSLAV SCHOLTZ.
Song of the moment: 'Altar' by KEHLANI.