Depression

August 06, 2002

I am sliding into depression again and I am doing so largely without realizing it. I have been more tired than normal the past few days, and what sleep I do get is less restorative. All of this happened with out my awareness until just a few minutes ago when I suddenly thought to myself that I am depressed again.

I only recently admitted to my conscious self that I was depressive by nature. It was a startling confession to make and one that I am still sorting out. I know what the classic signs of depression are but they have been building and unfolding in my life without my conscious awareness. Now, for some reason I am able to see the signs and admit that I am sliding downwards once again.

I have been in a prolonged period of depression that varies in intensity for some time now, perhaps years. I am able for short periods of time to feel happy and to see the colors of life. When I slip down a bit though the colors fade and all I am left with are grays, muted and dark. Since this has been my default mode for so long it feels normal to me. A part of my mind is screaming to get out of this cycle, but it is so very hard to resist what has always felt good to me.

As I write these words I feel the emotions shifting inside of me, I can start to see the color of my emotions returning. The bright cheery colors of contentment, happiness, and joy are just visible around the edges. I feel that if I turn quickly enough I'll catch a glimpse of happiness and then I'll know what direction to head. However when I turn all I see is more gray, more dull muted shadows. How do I break these patterns? How do I rid myself of this malaise?

I don't know the answers to these questions. For now it is enough to be able to name my nemesis and see it directly. The gremlin that is my depression hates to be seen, hates the light, the happiness, the joy of being balanced emotionally. If I don't look to the sides and see him slinking along I will forever be trapped in this maze of depression. Only by forcing myself to constantly be aware of his presence can I see him and the poison he brings to my life.

I see my depression today. And in that seeing I am freed of its grasp for a time...

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.