“It takes a huge effort to free yourself from memory.”
~ Paul Coelho
Anyone who has read anything I have ever written knows that I am afflicted with chronic depression. I am not ashamed to admit that, nor do i keep it a secret. It’s a very large and very real part of who I am and what makes me who I am. That doesn’t mean I am proud of it or would recommend it to anyone else. Far from it! It’s an affliction the likes of which you cannot imagine. It permeates every aspect of your being. it influences every, and I do mean every, decision you make, from the simplest (“What to wear today?”) to the more serious (“Should I trust this person?”). Every moment of your existence is a constant struggle between the Light and the Dark. Most times, you are lucky to win a “draw”. On the good days, the balance between Light and Dark is razor-thin perfect. It doesn’t take much to tip the scales the wrong way. Medications are no cure: they simply make the struggle a little less wearisome.
Memory doesn’t help. Oh, I can remember all too well the many, many decisions I made under the dark influence of depression, the many doors of opportunity closed forever, the many paths closed off forever, due to the influence of depression on my decision-making processes. when it comes to memories, my account at the Memory Bank is very much in the black. And gaining compound interest daily. Paul Coelho was right: freeing yourself from memory takes a huge effort, more so when you are in a death-match with chronic depression. The effort is tremendous but no less important. If anything, it becomes critically important. Those memories do nothing but fed the dark and diminish the light. I would love to shut off the memories, if only I could. Unfortunately, the longer the struggle, the less effective the shut-off mechanisms become. Reading? Not as useful any longer. Music? Not at all. Exercise? Useless. The only thing I have left is my one solitary video game I allow myself to play. It’s the only thing left to me that allows me to shut off all of my memories and immerse myself 100% in a different reality. For a short time I get a brief respite. But, all too soon, I must return to reality. And the memories.
The problem with organic depression, as opposed to situational depression, is that it never goes away. No matter where you go, there it is. I don’t know if this makes any sense but I put it out there for all to read and to see. If you suffer from this affliction, you are not alone. If you do not, look around you. someone you know may. Perhaps this will help you to understand their life and their decisions a little bit better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a battle to fight.