Thursday, 7 December 2017

A conversation with my depression

Spare hours before work, quiet hours, moments in which to sip coffee, write. The sky outside is smudged in ripples of rose quartz, graphite and slate. Away at the horizon a tear in the clouds, golden-tinged, gloriously-rimmed, lips parted over a mouth going back and back and back. Within the mouth a clear, dense nothingness, a bright emptiness, an eternal cavern crying out the light of creation itself.

Telephone wires dance erratically in the wind. Dark, fist-sized birds are buffeted on the breeze. The ornamental plum tree beneath the wide bay window scratches at the surrounding air, bends, but does not break. Fush-ush against the window's seal's deteriorating rubber; on the desk the coffee sits and steams.

The gargoyle of my depression has been vociferous today, crabby, circling to pounce. He's getting angrier because I've been choosing to ignore him. Well, I'll let him out now and see what he wants...

Hullo, my friend. What is going on?

Everything is hopeless, everything is broken, everything is lost.

Thank you. Thank you for your opinion. But it is just that, an opinion, not a fact, and one that I choose not to agree with. But I respect your right to voice it.

You know it's true. You're weak, wretched, pathetic. You're wasting your entire life.

Again, thank you. Thank you for your opinion. Thank you for trusting me enough to say that. But, again, it is only an opinion, and a biased one, although you're stating it as fact. Look, I suppose I may be the things you say -- but if so then what good is criticising myself for them? Might as well shout at the water for being wet. Or on the other hand I may in fact be strong, be doing exactly what I should be doing, and it's only believing your opinions that makes me weak. In fact this is a theme, isn't it? You yell something awful at me, and I take it as truth, and therefore it comes to be true.

This writing isn't working. This post is a mess.

You only ever say the same few things, you know? Variations on a few simple themes. When you feel threatened you attack me where you know it will hurt me the most, the things I worry about the most. Well, I'm afraid I've stopped worrying. I am who I am. Let the chips fall where they may. If you know a constructive way to make this writing better then go ahead. Otherwise it'll have to stay as it is. I'd rather give things a try and move on, and concentrate on finding goodness in the world, on helping people, than get hung up wringing my hands over concerns of the ego, which are so small in the wider scheme of things.

But you can't concentrate on goodness, you feel no happiness, you are self-obsessed rotten broken you have lost the ability to feel pleasure you know it to be true.

OK, ouch. I'm just going to pause for a second...

See. You can't deny it.

No, wait. You're doing exactly what I said you would do! I have your number. And, yes, every time, I admit, you hurt me for a moment, I believe you for a moment, and it stabs at my heart. But then I remember: you speak opinions, with an agenda, and you want me to fail. You feel safe when I fail, it lets you remain in charge. I mean, come on, I have felt lots of fragile, beautiful moments of happiness of late, many more since I began challenging your lies. And the self-obsession is precisely those lies that you are continually whispering to me. Friend, you are what is at fault. But, yes, thank you for voicing your opinions. I respect your right to them.

Ungh, you are such a freak. You're actually crazy. Everyone is going to read this and realise what a freak you are. You need to delete this right away.

Come on, give it up. People don't care how weird I secretly am, they're far too worried about anyone discovering how weird they secretly are. Loosen up. Being a freak is when things finally get interesting. Your world that you convince me to inhabit is so normal and lifeless and grey, let yourself get freaky, get crazy, learn to have some fun. Start jiggling, be wonky, push out that little bum.

Jeez, please, stop. You're embarrassing us both.

You're scared, I get it. You're that kid with acne who was too ashamed to look people in the eye. You're the voice of the classmates who bullied you because you were different. You're lost and alone and you've woken up to existence on a pebble hurtling round a cosmic nuclear reactor with only a short time alive in which to make yourself ready to die. Well, welcome to the club of the rest of us. This is what we get. It's shit for everyone. But there is also ginger-infused dark chocolate and bouncy castles and literature, so there is also lots to enjoy.

This post has no structure to it you know? This stuff is nothing like the beginning, with its ripples of rose quartz and winter trees clawing at the air.

That's because I'm a maverick and I care not for your simplistic conventions. I stride through writing styles like a god commanding dimensions and elements, beholden to no primitive human conceptions of right and wrong. And also I'm in a hurry to get this finished before work. So thanks, friend, but I am done listening to your crap. It is flawed, boring, motivated solely by fear. It does not tell the truth of reality, but an opinion about reality, one that comes true only when it is believed. You have had power for so long, but what I forgot was that I was always the one handing you that power, allowing you to take control. I'm not going to fight you, because I don't have to. I simply have to say: No. See? I'm doing nothing now. I'm here. Do your worst.

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Yep, thought so. You have no real power at all. I'm not scared of you -- but I'm not threatening you, either. You have nothing to fear from me. Keep coming back. I'll keep accepting you. I'm just not going to agree with you, when you prattle on with harmful thoughts. So get away from me, or stick around and hush up, whichever you prefer.

All right, fine, fine. That'll do for now. I'm going. I'll leave you be.

Thanks. Pleasure talking to you.

Yes, yes, pleasure, ditto.

See you for all this again in, what, half an hour?

If not sooner.

I'll be here. I'll be ready.

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