Tuesday, May 18th, 2010 12:21 pm
There's a room.

It's a familiar room. Comfortable. Cosy, even, for certain values of cosy. It's a room I inhabit every day; it feels like home. There are lace curtains on the windows, allowing me to see out but no one to see in. There's a bed, with a comfortable mattress and a duvet. I'm happy there.

Round the walls are shelves full of books. Those books contain my life; everything I have ever done, my achievements, my contributions to society, the things I'm proud of. I can see them all, and they're very reassuring. I have an absolute conviction that there will never be another one written.

The room has a door. If I go outside that door, I may meet someone, I may have to interact with the world. The world doesn't know who I am; it knows who I was. The world has read the books of my achievements, and doesn't know that no further sequels will appear. That from now on, my life will be full of empty pages or, worse, pages detailing what I'm doing wrong and how I'm taking from society. I don't want to disappoint the world, so if I go outside the door, I'll have to pretend. I might even have to do a few things to keep up the pretence that I'm still the person they've read about. Pretending is hard. Better to stay inside the room, on the easy side of the door.

Getting out of bed will be a step towards the door. Better to stay in bed. Better, in fact, not to move at all. Then I won't be tempted.

I'm happy in the room. It feels safe. I can cry for hours, and no-one will ask me why.

I'm not alone in the room. I have my counsellors with me, offering advice. One tells me all the ways that I could get myself out of the room, if I could only leave the bed. He does this in the full knowledge that I won't leave the bed; his advice is for the person I'm not, but know I could be if only I had a bit more inner strength. He gauges his advice carefully, that counsellor, so that the exit is always tantalisingly out of reach.

Another counsellor repeatedly lists all the ways I could die. Some of the deaths are by my own hands, others are happy accidents. A meteorite strike through the window is a favorite today, for some reason. He patiently explains that to die now would make better financial sense than after I've frittered away all my redundancy money, otherwise how will my funeral be paid for? He's logical and persuasive.

Another counsellor reminds me how lucky I am. What a fine room I live in: such comfortable furnishings, such a fine view through the lace curtains, such stimulating books to read. Why, he asks, did I get the luck? Did I deserve it, or was it simply something I inherited? And have I truly done everything I could have done with it, or have I wasted most of it? After all, with my luck, the books of my life make pretty meagre reading; surely they should be packed with five times the content? If I let anyone else into the room, surely they'll see this in an instant.

And that's why I can't let anyone else into the room.

This is what depression feels like to me at the moment. How about you?

[Note: this is distilled, concentrated, and almost certainly sounds worse than it it. And I feel a lot better for writing it. I really just wanted to share, because I'm interested if it rings any bells for anyone else.]


Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.