You have my word.

Words have power: that must count for something.

The beast

At 23 ripe years of age, I have taken up the task of finally reading The Lord of The Flies. Appalling, I know. I was never forced to turn its pages at any stage of my schooling, but I figured it’s a classic that any self-respecting writer should have read.

Quite frankly, I don’t like the overly descriptive style as much as I’m aware of its important and role in the telling of the tale (a rather woeful one at that). I am fascinated, however, at the transformation from humanity to savagery. Blame it on survival, maybe they were literally going insane, but I’ve just painfully read through the detailed account of how Simon was killed! (I’m not at the end so don’t spoil it for me, more than death has). Granted they thought he was the beast…

That got me thinking though. Fact is, according to my own interpretation anyway, the beast represents anything that they are not familiar with, anything that makes them scared, anything they can’t control, anything that could do harm even if it can’t – but only we know that. It’s not so different from our lives presently. We fear all things we can’t control or see or understand – the unknown.

When we’re small we have monsters in the closet and under our beds, and they don’t go away just because we grow up. We don’t outgrow them, they simply go from monsters under our beds to monsters in our heads. Even more terrifying! So we chase and fight and even kill (metaphorically speaking) the beast and in turn end up doing those things to ourselves.

I don’t yet have a solution for this conundrum, maybe it comes at the end of the book, maybe I’ll only realise The Fix in another 23 years (although I hope not). I think a good start though, is realising that the monster we think is there, is actually not a monster. When we can see it in the light, we see it’s not so scary after all.

I’m not a mourning person

It’s the truth, you know?
I’m not a mourning person;
I am not yet dead.

Depression: The Zombie Apocalypse

I think zombie movies are ridiculous. Fight me if you will, but I’m sticking to my story. That’s not to say that they aren’t entertaining by any means, but they are ridiculous: a bunch of corpses chasing live people, and there’s usually some ridiculous twist where a human falls in love with one of them or something. See? Ridiculous.

Recently though, a revelation dawned on me (like the dead). Depression is much like a Zombie Apocalypse. (For the brain dead among us, “apocalypse” is a fancy word for a great disaster – a sudden and very bad event that causes much fear, loss and destruction. Simply put, zombies take over the world and kill everything.)

Just like the zombie disease, little by little, depression spreads and begins to infect every part of your life from the biggest thing to the seemingly insignificant things. The frenzy feeds itself – anything that still resembles some form of life is eventually sabotaged. Once everything is dead though, it all seems insignificant.

Flip that concept on its head and give me a little bit of space to say that I understand zombies. It’s true. There’s a great debate around why they “function” like they do (and by function I mean eating humans), but I have my own theory.

Zombies eat living things because it’s the only way to feel alive. Aside from needing to survive and procreate (Google it), they need to experience life. Obviously they aren’t satisfied for very long, because based on every zombie movie ever made they just keep eating and eating. The feeling of numbness and being dead inside (and outside) is so perpetually overwhelming that the consumption of something living is inevitable.

Depression.

I realise that depression doesn’t require the eating of humans, but in a metaphoric sense it requires consumption of something to feed itself. Parts of your life that still have life are devoured. It demonstrates itself in different ways for different people, but the cycle is always the same.

Anything to feel alive. It’s ridiculous, like zombie movies.

Fortunately, there is an antidote that works against zombie bites if administered quickly and efficiently enough, and fortunately the same applies for depression. I’m not saying there is a quick fix, or that there is any fail-proof fix at all, but…

I have seen dead flesh come alive again.

Don’t give up.

You remind me of someone

When someone says that you remind them of someone, that may be the case. But the truth is that anyone can remind you anyone. In fact, someone can remind you of anyone if you look hard enough, if you look closely enough, if you convince yourself enough that there is something of that person in them. It’s fine when the someone you remind them of is still around, even if they haven’t spoken in a while, or maybe they just met once. It’s not so fine when the someone you remind them of is gone.

I get the same feeling sometimes when I look at myself. I remind myself of someone. And if I look hard enough and long enough I can even convince myself that the someone still exists when in fact that is not the case. The truth is, that someone is gone, and all things good gone with them. And no matter how much I stare into my own eyes, the someone I remember is never coming back.

The bottom line is, the someone I was yesterday is not the same someone I am today. Nor am I the same someone as I was last year on this very day. And yes, sometimes it is possible that my someones sometimes align in a moment but it is fleeting and I am forced to be the someone I am now, again.

It is foolish to think that I can ever be an exact replica of a someone I was before. It is even more foolish to think that I can be a someone I haven’t yet been. I am this someone now. I can’t be what I am not yet, nor can I be what I have been. Some days I am grateful that I can’t be the same someone twice. There are some versions of myself I’d rather nobody knew, and the likelihood of that is decreased considerably because I can’t be that version again. Just an upgrade. Hopefully.

See…

I am no painter. I am more dangerous. I am writer never revealing the colour of the words. I am no artist. I am but who I am. Not much; not always enough, and I will spend my life looking for rubies to bury in my veins. Red mess. Broad brush rough.

I know very little about what it means to mourn something I haven’t yet lost. I know even less about mourning what I never had. All I know is that I have but what I have. It is not much; it is not always enough. I do not fill my own skin some days.

Sometimes the someone I remind myself of, is myself. Sometimes I have looked hard enough and long enough and convinced myself enough that I still exist when in fact that is not the case. The truth is, that someone is gone and all things good gone with.

But that was then. Just now. Passed. Past. And I am here. Right now. Present. Someone with good things not yet gone. I am looking hard and long and trying to convince myself that this is the only reminder I need so when the next moment comes, I will recognise that someone and not just be reminded of them.

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