Sunday, January 4, 2015

O Captain! My Captain! Your Fearful Trip is Done

When Robin Williams died, a friend and I were talking about the loss of such a great talent and beautiful person. The discussion came around to the topic of depression in general. 

"I hate when people say, 'He was fighting demons.'",  she said. "Everyone says that, it's such a cliche."  I couldn't agree with her.

I have watched relatives and friends struggle with depression.  I have battled it myself. I've looked into it's dead eyes, smelled it's putrid breath, and I can confidently tell you it is most certainly a demon.  

It slithers through your bedroom window one night, and the next morning you have that weird feeling that something is "off".  A perfume bottle on the bureau has been moved....did you leave the closet door ajar?   "I could have sworn I left those shoes right over there..." That night, you have a hard time falling asleep -- is someone watching me?  Yes, yes, something is watching you, and, guess what? It's a motherfucker.  

This will continue for a period of time.  It delights in toying with you, causing your inner monologue to go into overdrive --"I'm fine, it has not come back for me, I beat it, I'm fine, really, I'm just tired, why am I so tired? Is it me or are my kids especially annoying today?" Yes, yes, it is you. Well, it is, and isn't.  It's you but it's also your new,constant companion, depression, and bad news -- it's a stone cold home wrecker.

Relentless. Heartless.  It will not stop until it has you right where it wants you. 

And where is that? 

Isolated. Just you and the demon.  It will sit in the corner and whisper the most dastardly falsehoods for as long as it takes for you to believe the lies. It will tell you you are unworthy of all the things that make your life worth living, the treasures, which when brought to mind, are what bring a smile to your face and coax you out of bed each morning.

"You don't need that friend.  Remember that time, 4 years ago,when she let you down?You don't want sex with your husband. Showering and shaving are so. much. work.Your kids don't need you.  They deserve better parenting from someone else who is up to the task. Leave the house?  What for?  When we are so cozy here on the couch in our sweat pants.  Are you going to eat that ice cream in the freezer? You just brushed your teeth yesterday. Self-confidence? Here, give me that. Joy?  Humor? Just put it all in this bag, pass it to me nice and easy and no one gets hurt. That's it, now, lay back and close your eyes.  There.  Isn't that better? I'll be right here to make sure you don't wake up."

Perhaps you've never dealt with the demon.  I wish you well and pray for it's continued absence from your life. Maybe you are helplessly watching while someone you love does the wrestling. Perhaps you have wrestled your own demon while it insisted on pouring it's particular brand of poison into your ears.  Maybe you are still wrestling.  Maybe you've beaten it. But, somewhere inside, you probably know that it's never far away.  If it's not in the corner of the room where you are, it's still lurking in your house somewhere.  It leaves a sulphurous trail of unease as it slinks from room to room careful to move at just the right speed so you are sure to catch a glimpse of it from the corner of your eye.  

Depression IS a motherfucking demon.  If Robin were still here on this earth, I'm sure he would tell us so. 


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