Depression Is My 'Dark Passenger'

Depression sucks. It’s hard and can be painful, numb or detrimental; but it can also be an amazing teacher. My depression has no name, yet he has a strong personality. He is, as my favorite TV show character, Dexter, would put it, “my dark passenger.” He is dark. He lives and lurks in the shadows, wearing his dark cape to always hide his true self. He is always watching me, and whenever he can, he creeps in and tries to grab hold. He isn’t always successful, but lately he has been.

He hates marijuana because it shines a light on him and starts to expose him, yet he loves alcohol because everything gets darker — his reach only expands. His sly, dark smile is the only part of his face that you can ever see. When he grips me, he holds tight. He sedates me so I can’t move, can’t speak, cant do anything. He tells me I’m worthless. He says that I’m “crazy.” He loves when bad things happen and is always the first to try to pull me down.

He works in tandem with my anxiety. When anxiety makes me panic, depression works with him to bring me down. They work as a team; they want to control me and they want me to loose it so they can swoop in and steal the show.

Now depression, he has a way of making me feel comfortable. “Just lay in bed and watch TV,” he says, and “it will all be OK.” Then, after hours of mindless tv binging, I’m depressed.

Medications make him irritated and he acts out worse. Therapy calms him, yet somehow he sneaks in when my guard is down and grips me tightly again. I try to keep him hidden. Most people would never guess that I can’t get out of his shadows — the shadows are where he thrives. He keeps one hand on me so I can always feel him there. I smile and I say that I’m OK.

I’m kind and I’m gentle to those around me. I make people laugh because I don’t want their dark passenger to find them. I like to see their smiles. Their laughter makes my dark passenger hide, but when he comes back, he is angry and grips me tight. Family gatherings can be interesting for me because he tells me that I’m not really wanted. That I’m an outcast. That no one really likes me. They love me, yes, but they don’t really care. I go outside to be alone, to try to gain control of myself. He comes up, pats my back and says, “I’m here now, I have this situation under control.”

Someday I will control him better. I learn a little every day. He is not me. He is his own person, and someday I will be the captor. He will not hold me captive or stuck in my own head. Today is what counts. One day, one hour, one minute, one second at a time.

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