This piece was lovingly crafted for Ruminations of an Old Soul, released July 6, 2016.
There is an unavoidable calm when you lay quietly in a pitch black room during the day. The world continues on as if you don’t exist: cars continue to whirr by on the main road; animals chirp and bark at one another with no discernible intent; social media continues to fill with attention grabbing self promotion. The world goes on with it’s business whether you are actively taking part or not.
When you lay quietly in that dark room none of this matters. All you feel is a pervasive numbness, indifference to the rest of the cruel world. When you feel down and out, pictures broadcast on TV look alien. Almost of another world which you are not a part of.
When you are deep in the throes of depression there is a “romantic” element at play. In a sick and twisted way there exists a beauty in dissociating from the world around you. Time continues on in the surrounding world, but not in the confines of the dark room. The safe place. Time here stands still. Or so it seems, until you come to the realization that years have passed while the sick cycle continues on. You have lived some, missed more, and sense a deep-seated regret.
Not all days are like this, but enough to make you realize that there is an established pattern. What can be done? Nobody wants to be stigmatized for their personal struggles. We all have at least one. Why does a struggle within the mind leave you open to ridicule? Why should someone already struggling enough have to carry the additional burden? Mental illness should be treated societally on the same level as fever or broken bone. How can you carry the burden of the problem, work to find a solution and attempt to wipe away the stench of stigma at once? The pitch black room may not look so bad after all.
I wrote this essay while lying in my bed one afternoon with the curtains drawn. The depression was very real that day. I’m proud to look back and say that one of my bleakest days in memory was expressed with this piece.