Imagine every morning as you wake up, someone takes a shit on your forehead.
Just as your eyes are crustily prying open and you waft into consciousness, a big wet turd greets you for the day. And instead of screaming in disgust and anger you just wipe it away routinely and proceed to the bathroom to brush your teeth. And every so often, scattered throughout the day, at random intervals, poop is flung from out of nowhere right in your face and you just have to pretend like it didn’t happen.
No one else around you is getting doody-bombed every hour so they can’t really relate. Whenever you try to confide in someone about the constant dooky-flingings, it just seems like whining to them.
That’s what depression is for me. An overwhelming sadness that washes over my body throughout my daily life. I could have a wonderful lunch with a friend, be feeling light-hearted and level, and suddenly without explanation the tide rolls in causing confusion and misery. Raping me in the feelings with a gangrenous dick of bitter hatred and shame.
It’s like a contradictory drill sergeant commanding me to waste my life in a toilet of angst.
I know that misery can turn into a self-righteous cycle wherein you lie in bed all day and make yourself sad again and again by embracing your depression as a kind of a character trait but please believe me when I say that I truly do not want to be a depressed person. I desperately want to be happy, or not even happy, just NOT DEPRESSED.
But I don’t have a say in the matter. Depression is like a voice-over written by somebody else. I plead and plead with the director to take out the fucking voice-over because it’s making the movie shitty. But he’s a hack who went to NYFA so he places narration over every boring scene in the annoying film of my life.
Sometimes my only choice is to embrace the depression. To melt into the quicksand and lie slothful in sadness. It’s like I’m wrestling with the devil until I just can’t anymore, so I pause the match so that the two of us can lie in bed together and watch the entire “Gay & Lesbian” section on Netflix.
I often struggle with figuring out if my depression is something that happens to me that I could eventually overcome, or if it’s just how my brain is wired. I can only hope it’s the former.
Here’s what my typical day consists of:
I wake up with the sun dripping golden dewdrops of light upon my freckled brow through the silken slits of my curtain.
I greet the morning like an old friend as I leap out of bed and swim through my morning routine. After I’m bewashed and beclothed, I exit my apartment and suck a big breath of Earth’s rich and life-giving air into my grateful lungs. I embark on my day with a skip in my step and a smile warming my face. Here I come, world!
A lovely little cafe shines in the near distance. As I gleefully hop towards it, I pass a decrepit hobo, urine-soaked and emitting an infernal stench, toxic as turpentine. I stop to pity the man with a condescending smirk and hand him a dime from the depths of my khaki pocket. He looks up at me with dead downtrodden eyes and in a perfunctory and monotone fashion utters, “God bless ya.”
I flash a smile and with the skip returning to my step I continue towards the cafe knowing that there truly is a God that shines his light of peace and goodness upon all of us.
In the cafe as I nibble at my dry leaf salad, I am approached by a tall slender man in sunglasses and a beret. He is a world-famous photographer and wishes to base his new series on my perfect face and body. He calls me his muse and begs that I allow him to photograph me. I say “Okay but you’ll have to work around my schedule”. He is extremely grateful as he bows to me and exits the cafe. I am stuffed after only two bites of my food and exit shortly thereafter. A wonderful meal.
I head over to the Random House headquarters where I churn out award-winning novels for an unspeakable amount of wealth and fame and respect. Today I am working on a story about a man who finds an ancient treasure in his son’s sandbox as a metaphor for the little things in life being what truly matters.
After a rewarding day of spouting life-affirming cliches onto the page, I yawn and look at the clock. 8 p.m.! It’s time to go to bed and go to sleep! A couple of the other novelists beg me to come out and drink with them but I tell them that I don’t need outside substances to make me happy. I’m content just to be me.
I walk back into my apartment feeling a great sense of accomplishment for the day. As I lie down in bed and drift off to sleep, my mind becomes a blank canvas for all the wonderful dream-beasts and childhood memories to paint with their essence. I am one with the universe.