The Duality of Depression
featured on the essential life
There Are Two of Me
There is me, all kinetic & full of hopeful intensity. The me that offers & encourages others. The me that is ever-evolving & ever-expanding. The me that is constantly stretching & actively working toward self improvement with dynamic intensity. The me that is a work in progress; the me that I am building; the me that I am hammering away at; I am working to become the me that I so desperately want to be.
Then there is her. She is the piebald creature whose skin I wore like a cloak, hiding beneath the invisibility of self hatred & self loathing. There is her whose insides were putrid decay. There is her, the filter through which I saw myself & the separateness I believed to be a buffer meant to protect them from my own volatility.
There is her who became me.
She Was Depression
I was eight years old the first time I can remember experiencing a fully-formed desire to be “finished”. It weighed heavily upon me, this feeling that I didn't belong, that I was somehow different, somehow worse. I already knew, with a certainty that I cannot explain, that I was not meant to be a part of this. Joy, happiness & a sense of belonging... none of these thing were meant for me.
In these idées de la mort that played in my head, I believed the only nobility I was capable of, would be sparing the proverbial "them" the ugliness & rot that lived inside me. So I pretended. I smiled & stuffed it all down into the abyss of my existence. I kept them all at arm's length, knowing that in my arms-lengthing & my distance, I was sparing them the burden of me.
Me, the singularity into which all light disappears. Me, the anomaly, the mistake, the mutation, the disease. Me, the piebald creature cloaked in self hatred & self loathing. Me, the manifestation of her.
This is My Confession - The Duality of Me
Writing this is not some cathartic feat. Rather, I write this as the me who has shed her skin. The me that cut away the decay & cauterized the wounds. The me of rebirth that was born of fire. I write this as the me that has seen both sides, who has wallowed with her long enough to know the languishing of depression & self recrimination.
Through it all, while I looked out through her piebald skin, no-one asked me if I was okay. The me that I am building wants to be the one to hold others up & never drop that ball. I want to ask you “are you okay”, & I want to sit with you while you tell me with your honest silence, that you are “anything but okay”. I want to carry the burden of your own piebald creature & keep you in stillness until you too see the other side. I want to make it better for you. I want to fix you.
I Will Always Be Here
For those who are stuck squarely in the mire of depression, there is nothing I can say that will magically make it better. All I can do is tell you the truth – there is darkness, & sometimes it's so thick that you can't see through it. There is pain, & sometimes all you can do is wallow in it. There are times when things won't sort themselves out, & nothing will seem to be okay. There are times of trouble & tumult, there are trying times of suffering that will rip at you & tug at you. There are times when you will want to drift out to sea, & let the waves take you. There are times when everything will be hard, & nothing will feel good.
Through all of this, I will be there for you, & with you. I will walk through the darkness, & wade into the waters of your own abyss, & I will stay there with you until you see the other truth that I know - there is light.
There is light, & it's okay that you can't see it right now.
If you have any questions or comments about depression & anxiety, make yourself heard in the comments. You can also connect with us via email at info@TheEssentialLife.org. We would also like to invite each & every single one of our readers to make their mark on The Essential Life by becoming one of our contributors. If you would like to share your story, your words & your wisdom with The Essential Life community, & you'd like to see your words featured here on The Essential Life website, please submit your articles here.