Depression’s Brother

A short story by Jack Tsuji

the fourth blot of the Rorschach inkblot test

“I failed” I muttered to myself.

You’re very scared” She said in its deep and slow voice.

“I’m very scared” I repeated.

You’re absolutely miserable. You keep losing, losing, and losing. You have no control over anything. Give up my friend, and let me help you with that”.

My legs buckled as the pressure overcame my knees. I collapsed onto the floor, palms on my face. Why? How is this happening?

A dread overfilled me. I began to endlessly ruminate over past failures, letting each arrow of pain strike me twice through my heart. My chest hurt, my chest ached. I couldn’t stand this pain any longer. I slowly dragged myself towards my bed.

That’s right” She chuckled sadly, “Stay in bed. You are weak. You can’t deal with all this. Lie down my friend, and be miserable”.

I felt anger. Why must I feel this way. The rage boiled into my head as I clenched my fists, dragging my crawled fingers across my sheets.

“You!” I yelled mentally. “You are to blame for all this! If it wasn’t for you, I would be happy, well, and content!”

Oh ho, you say some mean things” She replied. “I am but your compatriot. I only wish to help you”.

I fell silent. Was she right? Was this some twisted addiction I dwell deep depression and numb nihilistic nostalgia?

Surely someone must be to blame! Who is to blame for my misery and suffering!

from The Tatami Galaxy

It’s 5:36AM, but my mind returns to a brisk sunny afternoon sitting in a room with a psychologist. The room — filled with books of all mind and mindful, smelled like what Freud surely must have enjoyed for breakfast. The psychologist adjusted his glasses, and spoke:

“The primary symptom associated with the scale we found is worry” He spoke.

“Worry?” I responded curiously.

“Yes — The high scale scores worry as a precaution against error or unpreparedness; measuring thoughts for their correctness or appropriateness, their motives for signs of baseness or other taint, and their impulses for any sign of growing strength that could compel catastrophic action”.

I realized who the culprit of my misery was.

Oops, you got me” He snickered, as Anxiety revealed itself.

Anxiety was a mysterious figure, always in the shadow of the guise of Depression but stood on the front lines of all my worry and all my ruminations.

“It’s all your fault!” I shouted! “You are to blame for all of this!”

“If it wasn’t for you, I would be happy, well, and content!”

Oh ho, you say some mean things” He replied. “I am but your compatriot. I only wish to help you”.

Was he right? Surely my anxiety has reason behind it. I overthink and over-analyze every solution. I feel as if though everyone is against me, no one is to be trusted. But…

But I continued to think. Overthink. Anxiety was always there right before Depression was. Anxiety was the one who manifested my problems, and Depression came after to painfully cauterize my wounds.

I found someone to blame, so now my problems-

are to be solved?” Anxiety finished. “Please, blaming me will do little — why do you blame me? For I am not the one to fully bear responsibility. Look at yourself, and ask, are you truly free from blame yourself?”

It’s 5:36AM. I feel nothing.