I’m not sure if everyone has a monster living inside them. I assume so simply because mine is so grievous, I suppose. Sometimes I think people view monsters as things that happen to them, rather than being a part of themselves. But, for me, I’ve never assumed that the monsters acted upon me but rather that they came from within me.
Usually they stayed buried deep inside. Maybe they’ve found a cavern to hide in. Not really sure. Or maybe they’ve learned to wear disguises and hide in plain sight. But that wouldn’t explain the shredding pain when they claw their way to the surface and spill out.
I’m not sure what defines chronic depression, but I’m pretty sure I have it. I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember. Although I didn’t have a name for it in childhood, the crushing weight of it was very real. No one knew, I guess. Or, in those days, no one talked about it or admitted a child might have it.
But I did.
I used to sit in the backyard behind the fence at the creek and ponder the world without me in it. I’m not sure that made me suicidal. I used to hurt myself on purpose, but not to kill myself. Rather to feel something other than the overwhelming nothingness that was there.
It’s odd to me that I’ve always felt like someone who feels too much, whose senses are in overload all the time. The elastic band of a sleeve, the tag on the back of a shirt, seams in my socks, noises, lights, are all too much. People crying, people grieving, people hurting, people in need … and who isn’t … saturate even my driest thoughts. So, the dichotomy of being in a state of nothingness is an extreme, like skydiving or race car driving.
And it’s a monster without controls. I have no say.
Perhaps that’s the hardest part of depression … the lack of control. Even when circumstances say “This is happy. You are happy. Everything is good in your life.” that dome of nothingness can scratch its way to the surface and interrupt normality and there is nothing I can do but wait for it to submerge once again into the depths of wherever it came from.
All I know is I live with this monster every day, every second of my life … and sometimes, now, I don’t want to live with it any more. My only defense is to push away those things, those people who grieve me the most. Not out of hate, but out of pain.
And yet, it doesn’t relieve the pain of the monster within.