Essays & Rants:
Voyage to the Bottom of the Pit
My journey begins quietly, almost undetectable. I wake up one morning, too tired to have slept. The world seems covered by a blanket of grey, the sky is blue, not a cloud in sight. Oh well, it's time to shake it off and get through the day. Did I feel this way yesterday and did not notice? Is it just a mood or in my imagination? At this point denial is both a blessing and a curse. The day is finally over and as I lay in bed, I'm restless, and anxious, yet drained from the day's activities. As I finally find a comfortable position for my body, another clue appears, tears on my pillow.
Days pass, how many days? I can't tell, they've began to run into each other as if one grey blurb. The evidence has become clear. My mornings start off later and harder to face. My nights are longer and filled with fears, tears and floods of emotion that cannot be controlled. Still in my heart, I hope that I'm mistaking the signs. I want what is happening to be in my imagination. I would rather it be that I'm just lazy. I've slid down this path before and I know what torments await me when I reach the bottom. I must hold on to the denial for a while longer.
Every day I'm doing less and sleeping more. The world around me is getting darker. Self doubt is now invading my every thought. What I could easily do before the grey cloud covered my world, now sees like impossible tasks. I'm sliding fast now, the pit has robbed me of my energy, self esteem and control of my thoughts and emotions. In a final attempt to claw my way back up the pit's slimy, muddy walls, I gather what's left of me to fight, think, manipulate and motivate myself out of this hole. Just like every time before, I hope that this time I will succeed. Like every time before, I loose the battle. In a blink of an eye I'm lying broken at the bottom of the pit, where everything I've ever been is dying.
The pit is a black hole, dug into the deepest reaches of my being. The walls go straight up and are so high, I can't tell if there's an opening at the top. The bottom is a muddy watery grave. The sounds of the pit include every negative thing I've ever heard, echoing on and on, haunting my every waking moment. Included in these sounds are the words spoken by people who mean well. Words like "snap out of it" and "get over it". If the world could see me as I feel at this point , they would see that my insides are rotting away, decomposing before their very eyes. They would see that maggots are feeding off my face, making me now unrecognizable. What's left of my limbs are broken, bent and unusable. Just once I wish someone could see me as I am, then perhaps I wouldn't be so alone and just maybe they would let a little light in. It never happens, in their eyes, I don't seem any different from the person they know me as.
The air at the bottom here is not breathable. The stench only serves to remind me of what a horrible useless person I am. I don't care to eat and drink, that's ok because I'm to tired to chew or swallow. When I'm down here long enough, existing seems to take up to much energy. This is when the need to die becomes stronger than the need for air, food or water.
I feel I'm lucky, in that, I usually get a reprieve for a day or two per month. I don't know that others like me get that much. Over the years I've learned to savour these days, to breath, to move around, to hope and to remember that eventually this depression will pass.
As many times before, the day comes when I notice that my world is no longer black. I walk cautiously through the days until I can see that the sun is shining again, even when the sky outside is grey with clouds. I'm never quite sure how much time I've spent in the pit. Months? A year? Maybe even more? Never mind, if I look back to see the time I've lost there, I won't have the energy to survive the next trip. It's time to start anew, not looking back, nor looking to far ahead.
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Modified December 11, 2002