Finding My Way – part 5

Depression can be crippling. It curls round your head, soul, thoughts and ideas, blotting out the light and squeezing the breath from you. Too many have compared it to a beast or daemon consuming you … devouring your happiness and joy. But I find the comparison a little too ‘horror film’ and out of touch with reality. For me, it is more based in the world I can see and associate with. I had a friend ages past in the US (which in itself now seems like a separate life) who had this annoying little shit of a dog. It was one of those tiny rats dressed up in canine form, which seemed permanently in heat, yapping at and humping anything that per chance fell within his line of vision. This ball of fur with it’s seemingly perpetually petrified penis latched, yet again, onto my shoe one evening during a visit for a beer and to talk music, and so I said to myself: “this can’t feel good, rubbing yourself on the treaded sole of my trainers … you’ll give up soon”. The horny beast was adamant, though. He went at it with the enthusiasm of an American Idol contestant on meth until he rubbed himself so raw that he bled. But did he dare curb his desires at this what must have been rather uncomfortable result of friction against a rugged surface? No … all he did was back off for a bit, lick himself clean and bee-line back to my crimson-stained footwear to continue his endeavour no matter the cost.

And this is what depression can be: some days – an insatiable, annoying and relentless bastard that latches on and, without rest, wants nothing more that to fuck you no matter how difficult (or uncomfortable) you make the accomplishment of that dirty deed seem. It gets in the way of your life, and once it gets the slightest whiff of a bad-thought pheromone, the erection pops up, and it runs at you like a satyr at a swingers party. You want nothing more than for it go away … but the libido is quite vicious, and stopping it is near impossible.

I’ll say it again: I do not enjoy feeling this way. I would do nearly anything to remove the twisted, idiotic thoughts and shut down the pointless analysations that run rampant through my ageing grey matter. So, when people say: “think of something else” or “try keeping yourself busy” or “remember you have friends” … don’t you ever consider that I have thought of that? Come now … if it were that easy, then we would all be ecstatic day in, day out. I’d have perma-grin going on to the point of being stared at as if I were Quasimodo the moment he finds that Esmeralda isn’t going to run screaming. The thing is, many people going through depression know there are things to do or people to meet. But please recall what I mentioned of this being relentless. “Yes, my friend. I see you standing just over there, but this damned dog is still boning away at my calf at the moment. I don’t really feel up to hobbling over there right now, thanks all the same.”

I read an article recently that had a very good comment that put some perspective on the “deep blue funk” and its occasional drastic outcome – suicide: (paraphrasing here) Those feeling the desire to take their own lives are just as afraid to die as anyone else. Many times, it’s not that they want to wipe themselves off the face of the Earth, it’s more that they just want the continuously dark feeling to go away. It wears you out, you see. And when you are so tired for too long, your mentality for seeing better choices is diminished. You also just reach a breaking point.

What I find amusing when one is feeling suicidal (because it is such a funny time in life) is the reasoning people have to talk you back from the ledge at times. My favourite is the “Think of your friends and family and how taking your life will impact them! Stop being so selfish!” A valid point, BUT … (1) We do think of everyone in that moment, and many times we wish they were right there in front of us to hold us and make us feel less alone. Not everyone (or anyone at times) can be there all the time you feel that viral load of sadness increasing throughout your circulatory system. THAT is the problem! Very few individuals want to open a vein up when they have good people round making the world a better place. The cat with a plastic bag caught round its neck emotion hits mostly when there is no one there, in the evening when it is too late to go out but too early to sleep, on that rainy afternoon when all you wish for was a sparkle of sun, on the bus going back alone after a visit to your family, or when sitting in an empty cafe that you went to hoping someone, anyone, would be there, but there wasn’t. (2) Calling a suicidal person selfish is like consoling Quasimodo (to continue the reference) with: “No, you aren’t a hideous-looking freak of nature that God must have shat out after a particularly spicy vindaloo, but would you mind putting this bag over your head so I don’t have to set eyes on your vomit-inducing face?” Belittling many a downed soul is not usually the best cure for the cancer (though I will admit reverse psychology can work at times, but on a case by case basis). Also, have you noticed that the line “stop being so selfish” is typically followed by “you need to take some time and focus on yourself and do what makes YOU happy” … so, don’t be selfish, because the best thing for you right now is to be selfish? Hmmmm ….

I’ll end this part for now, because I am just running out of creativity at the moment and just want to publish this. It must be stated that I AM OKAY right now at this particular moment, and actually have been for a few days. Not ecstatic or even what you would call particularly happy, but I am not about to go “dancing the Tyburn jig” this evening. This is just a part of my thinking that needs leeching. The more I speak or write, the more the bile subsides. This is progress for me, and the act of even putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) is in itself proof that I can focus a little better.

To be continued …