I try to be normal. So many days I put on a smile, or the nearest thing I can muster to it, and go out among others. I respond to inquiries and make idle chit chat as long as I can before shrinking back away from the crowds, hoping to be alone.

Some days I laugh. Those are wonderful days when these dark clouds dissipate and I think clearly. Feeling returns to my soul and laughter warms my being.

But those days are getting farther apart. The dark clouds linger longer and the only way to avoid them is to sleep.

I try not to sleep too much, though, or people will notice. My family already knows something is wrong, but what can they do? So I sleep on the darkest days and endure the lighter days, wishing I knew how to change. Wishing I knew how to feel.

And this abulia is killing me. Simple decisions become tough ordeals. What to do. What to think. What to wear. Who cares? Why make decisions if they are as meaningless and pointless as everything else?

So I stare at this gun. It taunts my condition. It taunts my indecision. It taunts my cowardice.

And it’s right. We both know know I can’t do it. What about my family? I can’t do that to them, even though my whole being yearns to sleep.

And there I find hope. Hope that when these clouds clear again, when feelings stir again, that it will be a day spent with those who, for whatever reason, still love me. Till then, I resolve I will try to act normal.

25 thoughts on “Speaking from Darkness”
  1. Wow that was a very powerful piece, capturing all the pain of the person suffering from what sounded like deep depression.

    That feeling of just wanting it all to end, so that you don’t have to think about it anymore. Thinking hurts.

    I found this disturbing and yet touching all at the same time.

    1. Thanks, Helen. Yes, depression is the experience I was aiming for. I’m glad it had a slight touching aspect to it because I didn’t want it be entirely dark.

  2. Very moving piece of writing which gets into the deeply terrifying aspects of mental illness. I didn’t know what ‘abulia’ meant, and now I do. (It might find its way to my irregular blog series on words which are new to me).

    1. Thanks, Justin. I was hoping to describe it in such a way that it showed the dangers and deepness of the situation while still offering a bit of hope at the end. My experience has been that there is a respite if people can just hang on through the low points.

      ‘Abulia’ was one of those word-of-the-day words a few years back. I happened to see it during a time where I was experiencing a strange inability to act or decide. I guess it so perfectly fit me at the time that it has embedded itself into my mind.

  3. A very powerful, and sad piece of writing Chuck.

    Conditions like these are very often unnoticed by anyone else but the sufferer, and they are amongst the most debilitating illnesses, for the are life-crushers. They can make a person’s life meaningless and useless. And even with professional help can be extremely difficult to deal with.

  4. Speaking as a manic depression/bipolar with a twist of schizo, (honest) I’d say you captured the struggle well. The worst days are the ones when you cannot muster enough to try & act normal. The even worse ones are when it lasts for weeks, and when you are not sure what normal is anymore. You placed yourself well into your character. I am amazed at how well you covered such depth as well and at a length that it did not become a drag in itself to keep reading. Just very well done.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Kwee. I’m glad you thought the handling of this was ok. I worried a little bit about writing something like this because I know different people can experience different things. I think you touched on one of the most important differences, and that is that sometimes the episodes can last longer or have a different edge than before. I fear that is when some people lose hope, so I was hoping to focus on the hope and the need to hold on.

    1. Hi Jason. Thanks for commenting. Hearing this comment makes me even more impressed with the fact that you have posted a blog post every day this year. Even though it seems to help when I do, I find it difficult to write when the darkness sets in. I hope you’re finding some relief at times. If you ever want to chat just hit me up on Twitter.

  5. Someone I love very much kept a gun close at hand for weeks for the same reason. Some would ask why I didn’t take the gun. If not that gun there would have been another one I didn’t know about, or another way. In the end it was a choice only he could make. Being on the outside looking in was very difficult for me but he made the choice to continue and I’m so very glad he did.

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