The Nightmarish Conflict Depression Creates
I feel locked in an eternal conflict, a conflict between two warring fractions of my being, my soul. The victor, cruel, fierce, dominating, wants to cover everything in darkness. He is prone to secrecy, hiding in the shadows and studying the inner workings of chaos and madness. He is unfeeling. He is cold. He is merciless.
And he is winning.
The other side, the sadly oppressed and battered part of me, wants nothing more than to free itself of these chains and soar. He wants to explode with color and vitality. He wants to paint, to write, to play music for people, to go out and engage with the world. He is a being of Light and Love. He wants to help people. He wants to make the world a better place.
Somewhere in the middle of these is me. Torn. Confused. Simultaneously wanting opposing things. Craving antithetical desires.
I want to engage with the world, but I think it is a fearful place. I want to trust and love all, but I am misanthropic. I want to grow my hair out, dye it all colors under the sun, get tattooed, wear expressive and aesthetically pleasing clothes and create art, music, poetry, literature and make a name for myself and my creations, but conversely, I want nothing more than to wear all black, be invisible to the outside world, and live a life of isolation.
I am introverted. I am extroverted.
I am Dark. I am Light.
And it is a fucking nightmare.
Essentially, I want to be a human being to the fullest extent and feel trapped in a cage of my own construction. A cage that constantly makes me think “What is human?” “What is best in life?” “What is happiness?”
I question everything. I feel everything. And yet sometimes I truly do not give a shit about anything.
I find it really difficult to care about happiness. Sadness, on the other hand, is something I can relate to. Part of me… enjoys it. Misery. Woe. It makes me think I’m not uniquely fucked up to know others struggle. For a moment, I forget about my issues, my pain.
I both love and hate the Taoist yin and yang symbol. Two opposing forces, each containing some element of the other. Darkness in Light and Light in Darkness. It gives me both hope that the two warring factions in my soul can one day find peace and live in harmony, but on the other hand, it makes me feel as if they’ll always be apart, always different, always opposed, constantly vying for dominance.
I know this is a lot of writing. I know many of you won’t read this. To paraphrase Byron, my head will fucking implode if I don’t write all this down, if I don’t empty my thoughts onto page or screen. I love writing. Right now, writing and guitar are all I seem capable of doing to any degree of proficiency.
Writing. Guitar. And thinking myself into an existential crisis.
Gods, this illness is a fucking nightmare.
Over the weekend, a good friend came down to see me. We enjoyed beer, burgers, Batman, banter. It was a good time. It was. But now I am drained and shattered and weak. Part of me regrets the whole thing. Part of just wants to be alone. Part of me wants to say a massive “fuck you” to everyone and run off to the woods and sit in the middle of gnarled and twisted trees, under a raven sky, and give myself completely to all the dark forces of the night. Fuck society. Fuck people.
But. It. Was. A. Good. Day.
Depression and anxiety have such stigmas against them. They’re so mistreated because folks think we’re overreacting or we’re just “a bit sad.” They see us having a good day and think we’re instantly cured. You smiled today, you must be feeling better!
This ain’t going away any time soon, folks. There will be more posts like this one (hopefully shorter and less waffle-y). Some of you will probably leave. Some of you may not want to deal with this.
That’s fine. I’m going to keep writing.
Stay. Leave. Help.
I’m going to keep writing.
Because writing, and playing guitar, stop my mind from winning.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Thinkstock photo by Igor Zakowski