I realised, the other day, that I would not be able to write another thing until I had written about The Bleakness. And I want to write other things. Badly.
Depression runs, intermittently, through my family. In some of us, it manifests as a response. In others, it is embedded in our makeup. I think it’s fair to say that each and every one has been touched, in some way, by it. For myself, my relationship with depression has been ever complicated, reaching far back into my teens, when my grandmother was stolen from me and I ignored and denied the yawning cavern of loss it opened in my soul. I didn’t know what to call it, then. I do now, but still don’t call it that.
I call it The Bleakness. This characterises the experience as I feel it: a slow, grey coldness unfurling through my bones and sinews and nerve-endings till it paints the world in muted neutrals, leaving me going through the motions with none of the responses and ripple-effects you associate with movement of any kind. It is movement in isolation, happening far away from the rich colour of the world, in a stagnant, empty wasteland where I have been imprisoned by my own body and mind. My only companion? Tears. And even those abandoned me when it got too hard.