I have difficulty expressing what MY depression is like or where it comes from. Free from its grip, it is easy to forget the pain. When it has me by the throat, articulation is poor. There is a consistent inability to learn what might keep it at bay or the coping strategies to use whenever it engulfs every sense. I know they tell us it is not our fault, but the guilt still comes knocking.
I have been trying to ignore it for a couple of weeks now. A dark shadow stalking, waiting for a moment of weakness.
The anticipation feels like a thick mass stuck in my throat. The increasing negativity antagonises the fear and the agitation.
Reading fellow-blogger, Cate’s, post yesterday, “Unspoken”, was helpful.
Cate wrote that depression is like “an elephant in the room”. In her case, a Grizzly bear.
This got me wondering what analogy would best describe my own depression. It would probably be a HUGE longhaired Alsatian dog, sitting in the corner looking passive and obedient. The stinking matted fur is muffling a continuous low-set growl, emanating from deep within its throat.
People think the dog is harmless; it looks completely submissive and under control. In reality, the relentless growling controls my soul with fear. At first, I ignore it. Sometimes the distractions are enough. Then there are other times, when the beast is so close, I can smell its pungent breath; feel the manky fur brush against the nape of my neck.
When depression is looming, all the other mental problems become more prominent. I try not to dwell on any particular one – (un)fortunately, I’m a master at avoidance. There is one emotion that has the power to suffocate every last ounce of fight – DISAPPOINTMENT.
In the last 8 to 12 months, life has been going quite well. For the first time in 13 years, there was a small glimmer of a future. Perhaps naively, I was kidding myself that dark depressions might be a thing of the past, that I could ‘get it together’ and create something meaningful and consistent.
I do not know how to deal with depression other than to live with it – almost like surrendering to its filthy clutches. I can do little about the emotional mush, other than ‘wade through the treacle’. Everything feels soooo out of my control and maybe that is the most frightening thing of all.