Depression, On Fire

When it comes to writing about depression, the words won’t come.

I don’t know what it is, but writing honestly about depression induces writer’s block in me. It’s not something I talk about with others very often, or at all, but it’s been an old friend since I first learned God wasn’t real, and that the Bible was full of shit.

My depression began with disillusionment and it’s been like an old friend, like a pack of cigarettes you keep close to your heart in your front shirt pocket.

Comforting, but killing you at the same time.

Depression is hard to write about because it comes off either patronizing or like whining, navel gazing self-involvement.

It’s hard to write about because the answers are so goddamned clear (get your head out of your ass, look on the bright side, take a walk in the sunshine, get some perspective), and yet so difficult to actually do.

It’s like having a plate of food in front of you and not being able to eat it.

Everyone’s telling you all you have to do is pick up the fork, stick it into the food (or scoop it), bring it up to your mouth, open your mouth, chew and swallow. They may not even have to tell you. You might know perfectly well how to eat food.

But you don’t. You can’t. Something in your mind refuses to let you acknowledge the ease with which this can happen. Often, it refuses to let you acknowledge that eating is even possible.

Or that the fork or plate exist at all.

That food exists or has ever existed, in any form that was accessible to you.

At the very least, it tells you the food is bad, bad for you or tastes terrible. That it’s poisoned or filled with some sort of mind-controlling drug or something that’s going to skew your perfect, “good person” karma so hard that the universe itself is going to bend you over and drive in, no lube.

Weirdly, there’s still a fire in you, something that screams that there’s something better, which is why most of us don’t just pull out the bottle of Valium and down it in a gulp.

The ease of bringing fork to mouth is evidence that there is something better, that it is possible, even if we’re still refusing to acknowledge we’re at the table.

Something knows inside you.

And that something keeps you alive. It’s that thing we must learn to embrace, because it reminds you it can be better. We can be better.

Even if we can’t talk about it.

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