“It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling— that really hollowed-out feeling.”
― J.K. Rowling
A very close friend of mine has battled depression for years – a state of being few want to or will talk about. I thank her very much for sharing a piece she wrote in 1993 in the hope that she might reach anyone who suffers with any rabbit-hole, pit or place of despair that they feel they cannot crawl or drag themselves out of. Thank you, Frankie for your courage, warmth and most of all – your friendship.
LIFE – BETWEEN NOW AND THEN
Thoughts are in my mind
Tunnels which I crawl through
That was THEN
Bills went unpaid
A monthly duty I pride myself in doing on time
Chores, chores, chores
Why are they so endless?
When did sweeping the floor take so much energy?
A trance-like state you say
Laying so quietly in bed with the shade pulled down
Darkness engulfs my body, my mind and soul
No conscience thought flows through my brain
But I seem to understand it’s the unconscious thoughts that are dangerous
I have no idea of the depth of them may be
The undercurrent continues without my knowledge
Birds sing and flowers grow with splendor
Life is passing you by and I don’t care
How can you smell and hear – your life has no feeling
It’s THEN and another day has gone off with the alarm clock
It’s a sign of a beginning – why do I feel like it is the end?
People carry on around you – life is the same
But I know differently because my life isn’t
I am barely there – duty bound – I try to feel present
What is going to happen when I no longer feel useful?
I play act for I’m not sure how else to do life
THEN life goes on for too long and I wonder if I can continue to do this
Another dangerous subconscious thought flows!
You hear the word suicide but have difficulty connecting it to you
No one would understand – don’t you have loving family, friends and a sense of wonderment?
Will I understand? What has gone wrong? I’m not sure if I care anymore
Life continues one day at a time – and you try to hope yet you fear there may be
Another tomorrow to do it all again
Thoughts in my mind
Tunnels which I crawl through but see in a light in the distance
This is NOW
I hear music playing and with it come rhythm to my body
I look out my balcony and find comfort in seeing the trees sway in the wind
Flowers are painted everywhere and I know my imagination can travel anywhere
I have a sense of feeling back in my soul
A sense of gratitude for love of family and friends
My wonderment about life continues to grow and I’m filled with amazement
Just NOW I do not have to fear either my conscious or my unconscious thoughts
I can receive a phone call and not feel dread – instead it may bring adventure to my life
My environment is no longer stifling
Even though I may not still like it I can continue to inhale and exhale
The touch of another human being brings a sort of warmness rather than numbness
I understand safety can be found – just be careful while searching
Again my trait to make others laugh brings me great joy
The path ahead of me has branched out – my options have expanded and my sense of danger no longer looms as my shadow
Some sense of hope for me and my world has arrived
Even a little hope is fulfilling for it is more than I had THEN.
This is NOW.
What courageous people I know. Frankie, told me her therapist told her that her body is like a Ferrari – it needs more tune-ups than most other cars. I think of many friends who have ended their lives because they saw no other way to ease the pain. Maybe this will help some to begin to lift the shade, allow some light to trickle in and see that no one has to alone.
Frankie's feeling is, "I undertand why people choose suicide because they hurt too much or didn't see another choice. Perhaps we'll all pay more attention to our loved ones or friends rather than read headlines of how no one saw it coming - because the signs are always there."