I’ve been silent on all platforms. No tweets, no status updates, no blog posts. Writing has been difficult – I simply lack the motivation. The words are still there, the recognition of their importance to express and share is still there, but my ability to actually take the time to put them together in coherent form is, well, essentially non-existent. It’s been like this for a while.
Similarly, my ability to colour and paint has been affected. I cannot generate any interest in either, even though I know how much pleasure each gave me. Reading has been a chore. Passive entertainment, watching television, seems as deadened as my mood.
This is a malaise with which I am familiar. It is also a malaise I did not expect to feel. After all, things are mostly positive in my life. This brings to mind one of the most terrifying aspects of depressive episodes – they can strike when you least expect them to, they can strike no matter your life circumstances. In my case, they strike with an immediate return to the darker thoughts.
It’s not all bad though. There are signs of significant change. For one, I am not silent with others – I have reached out and admitted/accepted that I am struggling. Reaching out has given me some comfort. Additionally, while there is physical isolation taking place, an isolation I am trying to overcome, I have maintained contact with some online friends. I know it is not quite the same as face to face conversation, but it is better than no conversation at all.
I also have the comfort that my tools work. While I am stuck in a malaise, there is no sense of it spiraling down. There is no loss of hope. Moreover, I do retain an ability to laugh and smile spontaneously and genuinely. The malaise has not taken that away. In fact, my sense is that the malaise has been arrested.
There are some who have reached out. While I have not yet responded, and I will with fondness and gratitude, their concern is moving. Those caring voices belie the voice of the Black, that tells me I will not be missed.
I am struggling. I grew complacent in my recovery. I stopped being vigilant. Now it is time to return to basics, to return to what worked in the beginning. I owe this to myself.