Monday, May 14, 2012

Letters From The Black Dog.

I hate the feeling of being sucked into the vortex that is depression.

I had this very experience just yesterday after I received a letter in the mail that, admittedly, I had been expecting and thus, dreading receiving. I didn't even have to open it and the bloody floor dropped out from under me. With the click of the fingers, I found myself falling into a familiar pall of darkness, where self doubt, self loathing and overriding guilt are free to run rampant. These are all feelings that still cling to me right now as I write this. They are undoubtedly debilitating. I can't sleep. I can't eat. Any thoughts of writing right now have stopped with the impact of a train wreck. These are all familiar symptoms. I've wrestled with them before - have tried to stop them from clinging.

But in all of this, I have begun to consider that maybe I am clinging to them.

I’ve actually begun asking myself the question of whether I have formed the habit of taking absurd comfort in my depression, whether by succumbing to it, I can avoid the outside world and people in particular. Right now, it feels as though there are people out there who are determined to destroy me and because of that, I start to regard everyone with suspicion - even those closest to me. I withdraw. I don't answer the phone. I becone very quiet. And for a time, I'm okay with that - with shutting myself out. There is a sense if safety in that.

But then the darker thoughts come and I revile myself. How could I be so destructive? So selfish and inconsiderate of my loved ones? The guilt returns in a new way. The revulsion and guilt feed off one another and eventually I know it is a place where I don’t want to be.

I read elsewhere this morning about one hearing one's inner voice and finding their way to it in order to climb out of the darkness. The trouble for me is that I've never been good at finding my inner voice. Rational thought in the midst of blind panic that lasts for 12 hours or more is bound to get lost in the maelstrom.

Yet here and now, writing this, I do feel a sort of calm. The maelstrom is still here, but it has moved to the back ground - a sort of big black ball of chaotic energy, spinning.

Maybe it is in writing where my inner voice resides. For it is here where I can take refuge from everything that is dark and threatening. I can regain a sense of rationality and calm and begin to think without the vestiges of panic.

I do sense that I’ll prevail, eventually. I'll deal with the letter in time and move forward.

These feelings really do suck the big one.



  1. Ah crap. I have no words. Nothing to help. No advice. No fix-its. I hate not being able to help. I know it's not my battle to fight, but I wish I could lend you a few weapons to ward off the enemy. All I can offer is to listen. From afar. If you write, I'll listen. And so will many others.

  2. I've often taken refuge in my writing. It's not that it necessarily provides me with any particular insight (although sometimes it does), but it can provide respite from troubling emotions, if only because, for a little while, you're living someone else's life.

    I hope you find some peace soon, Dean. I think you will.

  3. Thank you Carolina. We are the puppeteers for whom our puppets give us much in return.

  4. That is definitely an awful feeling, especially when the guilt sets in with 'what right do I have to feel this way?' Like you, I find my writing can sooth these feelings. Perhaps it's another form of escapism, but I feel it's healthier and helps me far more than hiding from the world does. It disperses the guilt and sadness into manageable chunks.

    I hope you have found peace now. Cyber hugs are being sent your way :)