The Door, the Hermit and the Never-Ending Story
More introspective musings !
(If I ever repeat myself I apologise for that. Since there are months if not years between my individual posts, I might forget that I have mentioned something already.)
I found a new favourite image for my depression. A door. When I was young it was hidden behind the wallpaper; I noticed that there is something and it made me aware that there are aspects of myself that I cannot grasp yet. As I grew older the wallpaper slowly peeled away around it the more I questioned my surroundings, myself and life – but I was still content in my externally structured everyday life with school and later university. Once I encountered the first moments where true, autonomous decisions about my life were expected of me, the door swung open, and I found… nothing. Nothing that binds me to life like all others around me seem to be.
Now, I oscillate between phases of motivation, where I keep on trying for the sake of those who love me, where I get myself to more or less believe that I’ll find this “something” at some point, where “the needs of the many clearly outweigh the needs of the few” (or, in this case, one) – to quote one of my childhood heroes – and phases of despair, where nothing has meaning, there is no reason to fight, I feel the love of those around me as shackles chaining me to existence. Or, to get back to my metaphor, phases where the door is closed, the meaninglessness behind it is white noise in the background that I can ignore or distract myself from, and phases where it is wide open and the greyness behind it is seeping in every corner, stealing every colour away, the noise drowning out everything else.
The thought that scares me most is that my existence will be governed by these cycles, distraction and despair, searching and meaninglessness, battle and exhaustion.
Do not misunderstand me; I do enjoy things. Little things mainly, like baking a cake, seeing a beautiful autumn leaf, listening to a song I like, waking up and everything is shrouded in fog, watching a good film… When the door is closed. I probably seem very happy. Because listening to the white noise only makes it stronger, so I pretend it’s not there. I do have “dreams” for my future, but they’re all “snapshots”; having a child some day (although this is rather vague and a very controversial one, I believe I can be as much a terrible mother as a good one), travelling to the Himalayas, diving, seeing the aurora… now that I think of it, that’s it, really. A little pitiful, honestly. They’re not dreams of what I want to become, what I want to achieve. I don’t have those.
An analogy I, by now, told two friends, that I liked a lot is my “hermit problem”. Makes it sound really scientific.
From what I observe, people have this innate, inextinguishable will to live. If someone thinks of suicide it’s (almost) always not a wish to die, but a wish to escape whatever constitutes their current life/situation. No one I talked to actually wanted to die. They want to be somewhere they can be happy, but sometimes lose the belief that there is a way to ever be happy. My hermit analogy is then: Assume that there is a person who is happiest when they’re alone, no ties to anyone, no dependencies or influences either way. They move to a lonely hut in the woods with a garden and everything they need for living comfortably on their own terms.
Why do they go on living ?
Might sound silly, but I really don’t know.
If you have a few happy days there, where does this need to accumulate more and more happy memories come from ? You cannot really “accumulate” them. If you rule out something like writing a diary for someone to find some day, what’s the point ? I know religion has some answers here if you believe in a meritocratic afterlife. I don’t. I do hope that there might be some kind of continuation of existence, but that’s really my curiosity here. If there isn’t it’s just as well.
Sometimes, this makes me wonder if my depression is innate somehow. I have no external reason for being depressed, no traumata, no screwed up childhood, no mobbing, no relationship gone awry. I could be (or should be) really happy right now. I have everything most other people with depression crave.
And yet here I battle white suicide noise every bloody day.
But, as one of those “many” in the quote above put it, I’m “part of someone else’s happy memories.” Quite a few, actually. Sometimes more than I want. So I guess that’s that. You know, the never-ending story,
close the door;
hold it shut;
resign, drown in grey, panic, fight, struggle, push;
close the door…