Under Depression's Thumb-An Inside GlimpseMature

Imagine, total, impenetrable, darkness. You cannot see, only sense things. Have you ever experienced it? You reach out, half-expecting your hand to brush against something and hoping that anything you touch isn't hostile. It evokes both claustrophobia and agrophobia (fear of wide spaces). The walls could be miles away, or millimeters away from your outstretched fingertips. Remember that feeling of blindness.

 Have you ever been to underground caves? You know the moment when you pass under the level of the ground. Even if you close your eyes, theres that feeling of.. under-ness. Hold on to that feeling of under-ness.

Hold on to the memory-or the imagined memory-of that sensation. Now, imagine standing in a vast open space. Ever stood somewhere out in the open, on a clear night? Somewhere quiet and wild, where civilisation could be a memory. Ever had that brief, dizzying moment of realisation at how small we are in comparison to the mammoth planet around us? And thats before you start thinking about the other planets, bigger than us. Factor in the other solar systems, other galaxies, the distances... You get the idea. Hold on to that feeling too. That feeling of small-ness.

Picture sheer, black, marble. A shade of black that seems to absorb light. No flecks of quartz, no imperfections. Just a glassy, flawless sheet of purest black. Does that image give you the chills? Like that feeling of over-sensitive anticipation when you reach out in the dark, praying nothing reaches back? Hold on to that feeling with the others. That feeling of chilled-ness.

Now, comes the part where imagination is key. Close your eyes. Imagine an infinitely deep abyss.  Place yourself at the bottom. Bring back that image of those sheer, black walls. Colder than winter, purest black. These form your abyss. Now, take away your sight. Remember that feeling of blindness. That choking disorientation that flickers between too much space and not enough? Where reaching out your over sensitized, desperate faculties brings silence, no light and nothing to touch? Clothe yourself in it. That feeling of small-ness. Nestle deep in its arms. Even looking up, there is not a scrap of light. Yet, you have that sense of dizzying vastness with which all humans are afflicted when faced with the prospect of infinity. You reach out again, senses betraying you as they insist, for the slightest moment, that your touch registered something. The walls are too sheer, your touch slips past them. You walk, hoping for an escape, a light, a feature, something to shatter what surely must be a fragile veneer. Walking serves only to underline the lack of these things.

Can you imagine? Can you picture this? Can you capture in your mind a snapshot of what this could feel like? For some among us, it's a daily exsistence. If you succeeded, congratulations. You have gained insight into the world of depression. Many walk around, trapped in their own abyss, hoping for something to shiver down the walls. Some, understandably, curl up on themselves. They hope that circumstances will change. They exsist until something different comes along. They, as people, fade with that hope. They pray that the change will come before they fade entirely. Later, even the prayers cease.

However, others, continue to walk. They search, hunting relentlessly for that one crack. One tiny flaw, one speck of imperfection that can be levered up, worried at, extended, deepened, until the walls collapse with their own weight. These people may shudder to a hault occasionally. They may give up sometimes. But some voice, some spark, inner or otherwise, drives them to keep searching.

And the lucky ones, eventually, fall to their knees in triumph. That little sliver of change, a fissure in the dark appears and they bring down the walls, letting in light and colour and change. They rise to their feet, the cloaks and arms of the abyss falling away, dazzled by the light. Here, they must be steadied, a hand is needed to keep their balance for that split moment, lest the abyss's hands do not relinquish their grasp so readily.

But only a moment is needed; after, the light does the rest.

Anyone who is suffering, or watching someone suffer-I promise you, it gets better. Sometimes, its our journey in the dark that shows us the path to the light. You are not alone.

The End

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