One of my most prominent features of having PTSD, is depression. The two cognate and thus choose to court me on dates where my permission is seemingly not a factor of importance. I have no say in when their romance blossoms into an absolute confetti of chaos within me. The past fourteen-days have been marred by a weighted blanket of depression and a flagitious manipulation of an aching mind and its shards of traumatic memory. Folks, the days have been rough. The nights? Scripted from a dybbuks pen as if to have been written in Hell itself.
When I woke this morning there was a noticeable absence of sunlight. This swarthy ambiance from outside my window informed me that it was early. Too early to be awake, but I was. This absence of slumber was not by way of willful cognition nor implementation. My wounded brain had just finished bleeding within the confines of my skull. From the clefts and chasms of my medic’s mind, the dark things came, the ghosts. I saw the dead baby again. Held him within my hands. A reaffirmation in the form of a diminutive specter that I had failed. Failed once upon a time. In real life, I really did hold that dead baby boy. And now, here in my dream of odious recall, I held him all over again, and he was as dead as he was on that day all that time ago. When I woke up, the baby was gone. Returned into the spilled box of iniquitous things. In my hands, a tightly held crinkled mess of a shirt that I had been wearing when I had lay me down to sleep some time ago…
I could feel now the damp embrace of my bedding cling to my sweat soaked body. Another nightmare. Another set of ruined sheets. Another restless slumber.
We hang mobiles and cuddly things above the cribs of children so as to entice them to sleep. As an adult, as a wounded man, demons and tragedies hang above so as to unwittingly entice torment. I am not at all at rest, neither are my rouges.
I did eventually find sleep again. Though, comfortable and restful it was not. I spent the remaining hours of intermittent sleep tossing and thumping atop of my futon. Now, I am depressed, angry and loathsome towards PTSD as well as horribly sore all over. My neck refused to twist left for at least a good hour after removing myself from the make-shift sleep apparatus.
Over this past week I received some troubling news. News that only acts as kindling to a rapidly growing inferno of depression.
What’s depression like for me? Well, it’s a bit like a hole. A wide encompassing hole. And I am in that hole, falling. And the farther down I plummet, the further away the light gets. Soon, all that remains is a pinprick of hope that lingers off into the ethereal distance. Too far to reach and getting smaller by the second. There is no sound in this place. No sound other than that of your own introspective colloquy. It berates you with all of your life’s failures and shortcomings. It sings to you that you are worthless and unlovable. The song seems believable. It’s a bully to all other voices, it spins fallacies that narrate a story of unworthiness. It tells your arms that they are too heavy to move. And if they are too heavy to move, don’t even think of trying to wiggle a leg or a toe. And for me specifically, it croons to me with fables that this can all go away with the simple sip of an open bottle, the elixir of remedy…
It’s not, though. The elixir, I mean. I know that. Even through the distorted goggles of depression glasses, I can see booze for what it really is – depression’s venom – and my pertinacity is the antidote. Or so I tell myself.
To be honest, I don’t even possess a strong desire to drink today. All I really want to do is crawl onto my bed and close my eyes and hope that the world just passes me by without so much as a cordial nod in my direction. I want to shut everything out and pretend that it does not exist.
So, what stops me? What is preventing me from doing just that – forgetting that the world exists? Realizing that I exist! Knowing that I am alive and I am in control, not the world. I may not be in control of this rotating orb of ours nor what happens to me within it, but I am in control of ME, and what I do within it, and I refuse to be beaten. I have too many people cheering for me. Too many people who love me. Far too many people who will not see me fall. But mostly, I have purpose… I may no longer be a medic on the ambulance, but I am healing through words to screen. My written word or spoken oration is still reaching people. I. AM. STILL. HELPING! And I will never quit on those in need… and that includes me!
I am depressed, yes. I really hate today, sure. I detest the news that I have gotten over these passed couple of evenings, you’re god damn right I do. And do I hate myself? Well, yeah… actually, I do. But others don’t. I am loved. I am cheered for. And for now, that which I cannot do or feel for myself, I will allow others to do for me. And in that, I am hopeful (even if just a pinprick-so) that I will one day love me. And in that sliver of hope, there is a counter to depression. I. Will. Win…
I was unable to save that dead boy, along with countless others. I have lost brother’s, friends and those I consider family. I have even lost my own mother. But I have found myself. I may be lost, but at least I now know the direction in which I wish to travel. For now, that’ll do.
But you know what really helps me fight depression? Saying the words, “Fuck you, Big D,” over and over again in Samuel L. Jackson’s voice! Try that, it’s almost impossible to not smile. Even if it’s just a little.
The thing that honestly helps with depression for me, is knowing that I am not alone. Being able to silence that deafening bully of the mind. Having faith, that this too shall pass… and it does. It always does. Have faith. And if you can’t, or don’t, know that we do. I have faith in you in the same way others have faith in me,
And with that, Fuck you, Big D!