To Insanity and Beyond

Embracing the Darkness of Depression

Little can be done to change the fact that my brain is not hardwired as it should be, but plenty can be done to cope with the effects of the disease. Medications, therapies, and self-care techniques, coupled with a toolbox full of how to’s and what not to do’s learned by trial and error, make it easier for me to manage the symptoms. I even have a treatment plan written out, listing all the things I am able to do to help stay on course. Over time, my symptoms have begun to stay in check more often than not. Functioning day to day has become less of a struggle…

Every now and again, however, the illness sweeps the rug out from under my feet, catching me completely off guard.

When it does, I am unable to resist the suffocating fog rolling in, taking my soul hostage. Before I can attempt to pull out a good enough defense, I begin crashing lower than the darkest depths of Hell. My treatment plan becomes useless, as do I. The medications no longer seem to work well. My counselor cannot reason with me. It becomes increasingly impossible to force myself to go through the motions of my day. The mantras that normally squash the skewed thoughts swirling around in my brain are drowned out by the no longer little voice inside; it echoes through an amplifier cranked to concert level proportions, hijacking any remaining rationality.

I find myself propelled into a perpetual state of misery where the tears flow just as steady as my heart beats and lungs breathe.

No one wants to feel so bad inside that they’d rather not exist just to escape the feelings of depression- nor do they like it, either. In fact, I hate it vehemently- and anyone who really knows me can vouch that I’m the kind of person so full of love, it is next to impossible for me to hate anything or anyone. But I truly hate it with every ounce of my being.

I have learned that there is only one way to successfully deal with these periodic episodes I refer to as, The Darkness – and that is to do nothing. Yup, nothing at all. I let The Darkness do its thing, embracing the opportunity to be still amidst the chaos wreaking havoc within myself. I actually let myself be so depressed and accept The Darkness into my world with open arms- just the same as I would do for a stray kitten on my doorstep or a neighbor in need of some kind of help.

Fighting against these Blue Moon occurrences when they happen will get me nowhere fast. The Darkness is all-mighty powerful. It siphons the energy from my body, leaving me with absolutely nothing to fuel such a catastrophic battle against a temporary invader. One who never intends to stick around for very long. The Darkness will run its course in due time, like a storm passing through, and fade away on its own accord.

Instead of trying to take action, I simply curl up in a ball and let it have its way with me. I scream at the top of my lungs from the corner of a darkened room, unleashing all the negative thoughts consuming my mind. I cry… and I cry… and I cry, relinquishing myself to the cyclone of madness inside my soul with every salty tear and choking sob uttered unprovoked.

The phone goes unanswered, the cleaning gets put on hold, and my connection to the outside world is temporarily severed. Gallons of ice cream are consumed to soothe the aching in the pit of my stomach. Mournful and melancholy music dominates my playlist, blasting loudly until the world around me disappears. Wallowing in self-pity and commiserating with the painful sorrow I am engulfed with, is all that I can do.

It’s just me and The Darkness. And that’s okay with me.

I know it is all but a provisional glitch in the matrix of my existence.

For sometimes, it takes seeing the ugly to find the beauty that surrounds everything in this world. It takes knowing the pain to relish in pleasures once more. It takes feeling nothing at all to feel everything all at once. It takes thinking that this is the end of the road with nowhere left to go, in order to seek the new beginning waiting around the bend that you couldn’t see before.

Sometimes you just have to let yourself be depressed. Take it from me. You owe it to yourself to weather this storm and wait for the rainbow to appear. There is always a pot of gold waiting at the end of it, after all. Treasures of wisdom and grace that may not have been found, otherwise.

So go on, now. Cry, scream, and wallow all that you need to until The Darkness passes on by. Do nothing at all until you can do it all again- better than ever before. Depression doesn’t always have to be a struggle against the impossible – because everything is possible with the right perspective.