The Tar Pit

Struggling through a tar pit is a familiar feeling for some of us who live with depression. The struggle may be kept at bay with psychiatric pharmaceuticals which is an enormous relief for some.
Still the demons lurk in the background. Sometimes I forget, or at least hope, that the darkness won’t envelop me once again.

While on occasion there is an almost imperceptible shift in my view of the world, more often than not it is a sudden collapse, and I drop precipitously into the pit of doom. A good scene for a horror movie. For a person who is depressed the horror is all too real.

No, I cannot just get out of it and think of all I have to be grateful for. No, I cannot get over it by thinking about someone else, someone who has it worse than I. The fact is I can do these things. I am grateful for all that I have, and I can be glad about helping another who asks for or needs my help.

I can know all this. I can know how those close to me would feel if I decide life is more than I can handle. I have put my loved ones in this position and am fortunate to be able to write this. I understand why others take this final and irreversible step, yet even knowing this I get angry at them.

The bleakness of my world in times of depression is all consuming. Everything is hard and exhausting. I will never emerge from the misery and often don’t even care. For those who step in to throw a lifeline with no judgement attached, I know what you’re doing even if I can’t be bothered to acknowledge the proffered hand or help myself.

Despite myself, eventually the tar pit becomes less thick and the struggle is less of a slog. The darkness and the demons recede and the pit of doom is less doomful. Life returns. It feels not unlike returning home from a long trip and having to reorient myself.

Time to breathe and hope.