Defining Depression

I don’t get good days anymore. I get good moments, good stretches (sketches) – but in doses. Like medicine, the goodness wears off.

I can’t tell if the melancholy is the negative space, or the object – the background or the fore. I can’t tell which (or what) is my natural state.

I am laughing, enjoying the raindrops, my smiling boy, the piercing sun. And then suddenly (unexpectedly, always), the bitterness sets in. Returns. Inserts.

Oh yes, now I remember. I forgot – I thought the happiness was what’s real. But no. It’s this instead.

I’d hung the wet umbrellas over the railing, into the stairwell to dry. When bringing the laundry hamper down to start a load, I’d ducked under the tips of them, smiling at their incongruity. When I was bringing a basket full of clean clothes up moments later, I’d completely forgotten they were there. Had I been looking, head up, of course I would have seen them and ducked once again, another small inevitable smile. But instead, my thoughts were on how many unfolded loads where already piling up in the livingroom, my eyes on my feet. So I got poked in the head while climbing the stairs with fifteen pounds of clothes in my arms, by the very objects I’d placed in my own path.

Depression is like that.

Bumping you in the head when you least expect it but most should have.

“But I don’t understand!” Dearest says, “You had a great day! You went apple-picking with Bonhomme, and said it was gorgeous!”

I did. It was.

But that was then. This is now. And that’s something he will never understand – how could he? Even I don’t.

Each day is a battle, a burden. The good stretches are my armour. Some days one weary foot forward, plodding along is the best I can do. Some days it’s not even that. And yet, I stand my ground, claim my stake. I don’t know what victory looks like (is) – but  I do know defeat. And if my won’t is stronger than my will, well, so be it. Every picture has negative space. That’s how objects get defined.


1 comment so far

  1. Moosilaneous on

    I’m sorry to say that you have hit upon the perfect analogy for depression – and exhaustion:
    “Bumping your head when you least expect it but most should have.”

    We are defined by our approach to adversity, but I’m content with remaining fuzzy around the edges.

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