The Darkness Seems to Know Just Where I am
The title comes from (no surprise here) a song–“Angels” by Avenged Sevenfold. The song is–for me–hypnotic.
TL;DR: Imposter syndrome in a depression sauce and served with sides of well-turned guilt and seasoned need to make it all better for you.
The title might just be a little too on the nose for this year. I’ve not experienced depression of this magnitude in a long time (4 years, to be specific), and while I can point to some situations (DD*’s sickness and death, yes, SEK’s sickness and death, the fucking election, etc.) that either precipitated the onset or would have shin-kicked me anyway, the fact is that it’s not just situational. The darkness found me–I’m not sure it had to look all that hard–and it is so very, very dark.
It’s not December 2012 bad (ohpleaseno), but bad. People are noticing. People who should not be noticing, are. They are even starting to ask. They are concerned that I’ve lost my sparkle.
I, personally, am surprised to hear I had one.
We’ll say little of the complete strangers who stop me to tell me it will be ok. I seem to be wearing the darkness, rather than just stewing over it. And man does that ever make me feel guilty.
I got honest about it over the summer. I said out loud that the weather was crushing my spirit. I thought being honest about it would be the right thing to do, but I was perhaps not honest enough. Or honest to the right people. I’m not even sure at this point. During the summer (or lack thereof–the fog, oh the fog is killing me<–drama queen), when I realized things were dark again, I tried to do what I am supposed to do. Sort of.
"Supposed to do" turned into taking an online course about classical music. I admit that it is possible I missed the details on this self care thing.
I’ve so much I want to write, but I don’t know how to get the words on the page. They are rattling about my head in their muddled masses and just not dropping.
There are words that never found my lips/There are words I’d soon forget/Thought the trick was never to look back/But it seems I’ve lost my grip, I slip/The faster we run now, the closer the gun now/And somehow all the bullets bear my name.
I should be happy. It’s the job I wanted. It’s the place I have been trying to return to for 37 years. It’s where, I think, I am supposed to be. Good things have happened since summer. Really good, awe-inspiring things. A hand, a smile, a work of art I never expected.
The weight of the darkness keeps coming back each time I think I’ve shaken it off. Even when I don’t look back. I have it better than most. Way better. I have people dear to me who have been cut much closer to the bone this year than I have a right to pretend to. I’m used to feeling like an imposter in my professional life (and boy howdy do I ever right now), but I can’t recall feeling it so clearly in my personal life before.
Took the road but should have chased the stars/ Now I’ve lost my own way home/Had a photo of the time we shared/But I burned it long ago…
I even, this is fun, feel an imposter in writing about depression. Other people have it worse. Suck it up. But I feel so lost right now. And forget chasing stars. Those words right above speak so loudly to me (earworm loud, but if I use DD’s recommended song, I’ll just be on the floor for the following hour), but I have absolutely no idea why, and I don’t think it is a matter of #thatvoice alone. I’m sure my head will reveal all at some point (it always does and often quite rudely), but I’m just living with the words in my head for right now.
I realizing in typing this out that the darkness is both metaphor and reality. This year has been a bastard of a year weather-wise here. Cold and dark were the hallmarks of summer, and fall hasn’t exactly decided to act much different, though recently it has brought rain in to shake things up a bit. So, literally dark (and, yes, I know what SAD is and that I am fairly strongly affected by it. Like, pretty sure Seattle would kill me strongly affected, and this place is certainly trying to make sure I don’t imagine otherwise), or at least darker than my brain/body want.
And then there is that other darkness.
No, no. Not her.
The metaphorical one that creates real, physical pain. And real, visible darkness, which is apparently even visible to others right now. In the end, at least tonight, I think that is what is bothering me most. Not only visible, but troubling to them. I hate that. I hate that I can’t fix me so that I can fix it, and I hate that this is my first impulse: make them feel better! Everything is okay!
So, now what?
*I think I remember why I called her “DD” in these pages, but it was well before I knew some of her story that I know now, and, yeah, it makes me smile. And, no, I’m not telling, but, damn.