Embracing The Dark

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

Popular expression, right?

Until last night, it never occurred to me that I could apply it to the oncoming darkness of depression.

About a decade ago, I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression, anxiety disorder, and OCD.

I am healing, after many months of neurofield. But I have my days, I will always have my days. And last night, I felt it coming. It was like watching a tidal wave and waiting for the impending doom of its catastrophe. Just waiting. I decided, “no, I will not sit here and wait to be bed ridden, wait to have my head filled with the dark. I am going to take preemptive action.”

I wasn’t sure how to do it. But I wasn’t alone. One thing I knew for certain: I needed to write.

Nothing is quite as cathartic for me as writing. I listened to some heart wrenching Brahms and let all of the emotions wash over me. But instead of fighting the current, I swam with it.

Let me just say, it was probably a sight to look at. I felt like I was at a piano, composing a mighty symphony as I typed. And I probably looked it too. The emotions were so strong, so intoxicating, I couldn’t simply sit. I had to move with the music. And I swear I barely even watched the keyboard or screen as I typed, like I let the muscle memory of my fingers over letters take over and write what they would, what my heart and soul told them too.

I’ve never done recreational drugs. But in all honesty, I imagine last night’s experience was something like that. Bizarre, really. I don’t know fully know how it happened. Below is one of the things that spilled forth from that high.

Sometimes a thing feels so much you can’t quite put words to it.

Sad, happy, angry, you can put words to all these.

But sometimes, sometimes a thing is so full, so heavy, the feeling doesn’t quite have a name.

What does a mamma feel when she holds her baby for the very last time? When that baby’s only a little thing, never even stood on her own two feet? Is there a name for that?

What does a man feel when he’s watching his wife slowly, inevitably, slip away, her soul that he’s loved and cherished for so long, leaving her earthly body? Is there a name for that?

What does a person feel when he looks at another and thinks “that ain’t a person, that’s my property”? Does hatred, or ignorance, describe in full depth the weight and power and force of those feelings and thoughts?

It’s too heavy.

What about the soldier who has no choice but to leave someone behind? The soldier that watches his men, his brothers, taken away in a half a second no further than an arm’s reach away? Does that feeling really have a name? Don’t think it does.

What do we do with it? What do we do with the dark and heavy that don’t have names? Can’t let it sit in our hearts. It’s too heavy, it’ll break us.

We have to share it. Those nameless things that we can’t quite put words to. We put them in hugs, in kisses, in long handshakes and knowing looks. In deep sighs, in spilt tears. We lay them out, burdens shared.

Then, maybe then, it all isn’t so heavy anymore.