Falling to pieces isn’t easy. It takes a great effort of release to allow the self to shatter and scatter into the messiness of life—to let the parts of who you are and were separate so that who you will be becomes even more puzzling.
It is no simple thing to become unhinged—to unmoor your mind from rational thought and allow the swell of raw and violent emotions to drag you out to the depths of despair in a sea of loss and doubt. You could drown out there.
Depression has no shortcuts. There is no graceful descent. You cannot see the bottom from here. It feels infinite—a perpetual free-fall in the dark into a deeper darkness. All the while breathlessly waiting for the inevitable impact of hitting bottom and breaking down all over again.
There is no diplomatic protocol for melancholy. It is a ruthless conquering army, ever claiming more and more emotional territory—launching unquenchable assaults until apathy is your only refuge, and retreat your only ally.
There are no benefits at this job. Forcing smiles to appease the happy, going through the motions so others don’t worry. Laboring to live beneath an invisible yet oppressive weight—pushing the breath right out of you so that you’re drowning in oxygen.
Sadness is a narcissist—always wanting all of your attention, and taking all of your energy for itself. It is an emotional glutton, a parasite devouring feelings. It is an atrophy of energy until even the shedding of tears is too tiresome a work. To sleep—to dream—becomes the highlight of your day—anything to help you escape.
You’ll find no simple solutions. Being blue is complex. There are many hues of sadness—the spectrum is infinite. No pleasure is indelible. Laughter passes through you like a thin sheet on a windblown clothesline. Food, though filling, isn’t satisfying. Nothing is gratifying. All is dim and gray. It hurts to stay awake.
And then one day, and without warning, the roiling dark waters begin to recede. You can see the sun for all its warm brightness. Colors are released. Where once your expanse of despair was a bottomless sea, now fertile soil awaits hope’s seeds. You begin to absorb joy again. Laughter inflates your mood and lifts you up out of your despair. Instead of falling apart, you start flying. Instead of shutting down, you start thriving. Sometimes it just takes time for all the shattered pieces of you to find their way home again.