There are times when I think, I’m no different than anyone else. We all have our struggles, our crosses to bear. No one else’s grass is greener. Yet I feel different, I prefer to sit in the dark, it’s where I’m most comfortable. I sulk in the shadows, it’s hard to bring me into the light, it holds no charms for me. There are things that make it easier to live in the light but they aren’t a long term solution just a band aid masking a larger problem.
Most people are blessed with the ability to always see the glass as half full. Every disaster has a silver lining. Then there’s the other group, the ones who always seem a little down. The people that feel like the under dog even when they are on top. Their glasses are always empty, even on the days when it seems to overflow. There’s no explanation for it, you can label it as depression. You can take a pill and it can level you out. It will make you more pleasant to be around but you won’t be you anymore. Some of your light is gone, you’re uniqueness is diminished.
This is the point where most people turn to self medication. A glass of wine here, a pill there becomes the prescription that helps you get through the day. It lightens your mood, it makes you agreeable to those around you. Inside you know it’s wrong, inside you know that this will only make matters worse. In the long term, this is not a solution only a band aid and band aids fall off.
The desire to be agreeable, to be able to make it through the day by any means necessary is sometimes a pill that is way too easy to swallow. It becomes that shot of whiskey in your morning coffee that takes the edge off a horrible day in the making. The pain killer that makes it easier to deal with yet another snow day, Then just like that, you’re hooked.
These are the things I think about when yet another star dies of a drug overdose. I read the comments from people who are in the “life is always sunny group” respond and ask what did he have to be depressed about? He’s a movie star, he should have no complaints. He’s extremely talented, hugely famous, life should be good. I’m sure on paper it was. For most people who suffer from depression, life is good on paper. I can all make a list of all the things I should be grateful for, all the reasons why I shouldn’t be depressed and yet, at times to some degree, I am.
To me, depression feels like the picture below, the sun not quite able to make it through the trees. It tries, but it’s not strong enough, not high enough to over power them. For some, having a drink or popping a pill pushes that sun up a little higher, makes it tad bit stronger so it can come out from behind the trees.
There were times in my own life that should have been joyous. I’ve seen other people, I watch them to see how they react to things, mostly so I know how to. Instead of being overjoyed at the births of my children, I was just blah. it was’t because I wasn’t happy, I was, it just doesn’t come out. There’s a blockage somewhere, call it faulty brain chemicals or whatever you want. I’ve been this way my whole life to some degree, I know how to deal with it, I can see when it’s coming and prepare myself. The rest of the people in my life aren’t as lucky, it usually takes them by surprise.
As I remember the life of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the films he was a part of that I loved. His talent that set him a part from all others, I remember how easy it is to slip away. To fall too easily into the dark and not be able to rise out of it. His inner demons fueled his talent but also led to his demise. The struggle of yet another tortured soul to live in the light when their brain is filled with darkness, ends sadly. It gives us all a reminder of just how precious life is and how quickly it can end.