‘Survivors’ of depression often have the realisation that this never ends, it never goes away.
You’re in the sea, waves choppy, disoriented, and the Kraken lurks in the deep. Beneath the shadows, tentacles poised. Always there. You’re treading water. Every now and then a tendril coils around an ankle desperate to pull you under but you can’t tell anyone it’s there. Because once you’re ‘better’ you have to be fine. Really fine.
Suspicious eyes assess you, well meaning but worried, and the last thing you need is to have to manage someone else’s happiness when you can barely hang on to your own. The irony of the burden of needing to prove you’re coping being the thing that renders you unable to cope. So you pretend you’re fine. Really fine. Until the tentacle is halfway up your thigh and it’s too late. And you see it coming every time but there is nothing you can do.
The other people pass by, on a fancy boat. They say they’re off to a party on an island and you’re invited, there’s going to be pina coladas, you’ll love it. “Just get out of the water!” they say, like it’s that easy. But it’s not is it? It’s impossible. You’re just trying not to drown.
If you look around you can see that there are so many others caught in the cold swirling darkness too. The effort draining them, the sea monster squeezing their rib-cages until they can fight no longer. And the weight of knowing that there are thousands more feeling this right now is crushing. But you are not alone.
You are not alone.
And while I can never kill the Kraken, I have made this shoddy raft from popsicle sticks and hope and you are welcome to share it. We can yell “NOT TODAY MOTHERFUCKER” at him and we can survive another day of not being a cephalopod meat-snack.
I wrote this on my phone at 2am, because I couldn’t sleep. It took me an astoundingly long time to realise that it had been some weeks since I had taken the remedy I usually have to stop my brain misbehaving. With homeopathy there are sometimes rather long periods of time between doses and apparently I’m more forgetful than I thought and the depression-kraken is sneaky. I have written a reminder for a few weeks in my diary! So yeah, take your meds people, in whatever form that takes, we are more than meat-snacks for unruly sea beasts.