I’d wasted so much of my life. So many of my days, and all of my promise, all of my dreams, lost to hospitals, to depression, to wanting to die. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. This is not who I am.
Except, of course, it was. It was all there was left to be.
I look out into the water and up deep into the stars. I beg the sparkling lanterns of light to cure me of myself – my past and the kaleidoscope of mistakes, failures and wrong turns that have stacked unbearable regret upon my shoulders.
Your iPod is whispering in your ear. It was keeping you company, but now it’s like a good friend turned bad … It is turning your life into a dark, looping rock opera.
It is like oil. Like molasses, slow at first.Then one morning I woke up and it was flowing free and fast. I thought I would drown in it. I thought it would drown little you and Susan. I got up, got dressed and went out onto the road and tried to jump in front of a bus. I thought it would be a final thing, quick like a bang. Only , it wasn’t.
The problem with making a virtual world of oneself is akin to the problem with projecting ourselves onto a cyberworld: there’s no end of virtual spaces in which to seek stimulation, but their very endlessness, the perpetual stimulation without satisfaction, becomes imprisoning.
Rather than assuming weakness or defectiveness, we should acknowledge that getting through depression requires considerable strength. Rather than assuming permanent debility, we should recognize that some depressions are followed by thriving.
When you’re lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore.
On Prozac, Sisyphus might well push the boulder back up the mountain with more enthusiasm and creativity. I do not want to deny the benefits of psychoactive medication. I just want to point out that Sisyphus is not a patient with a mental health problem. To see him as a patient with a mental health problem is to ignore certain larger aspects of his predicament connected to boulders, mountains, and eternity.
It was a little thing, but on top of the other little things, it broke something in me.
If I had an .MP3 of your heartbeat… I might actually get some sleep.