My Absence

The thing about depression is, even when you know it’s coming, it always catches you by surprise. When I’m on the updraft, it’s hard to believe I ever had a good reason for feeling so bad or being so useless. I convince myself that I was dramatic and selfish, that I blew it out of proportion. What could possibly be so bad to make me so lifeless?

Vincent van Gogh “At Eternity’s Gate”
And then it hits me again. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and sometimes it’s a slow spiral, a circling of the drain. But always, it’s a shock to my system, to my life. It shuts everything down, a giant rock covered in gorilla glue and shoved into the gears. There’s nothing glamorous, relaxing, or fun about staying curled up on the couch or in bed day after day trying to imagine that tomorrow will be better.

Everything suffers, friendships, relationships, my marriage, my dogs, my health, my finances, and my mental health just deteriorates. I don’t write; I don’t talk; I don’t bathe. I go to counseling, make sure we have milk, bread, and cereal, and come home. Otherwise, I haven’t been outside in two weeks.

There’s nothing anyone can do. Talking about it makes me feel worse. So, I do whatever I have to do to make it to the next day and the day after that.

I’m still here. And this, or some version of this, is happening to people all over the world, all around you. Are you seeing the signs? Do you know what they are? Do you know what to do?



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