Sunday, February 28, 2016


Introduction: This is a real experience that took place about 4 years ago, but it feels as real today as it did back then. I'm okay now -- Thankfully. I'm lucky. I have a low stress job that I enjoy; good friends; and a man who has stood by me through thick and thin for over 25 years. Churchill's black dog will never ever leave, but he can be kept at bay and even embraced. It's an on-going process keeping the black-dog at bay. Writing and running is my outlet.

No place to Hide

I get dressed donned in my tight denim skirt, denim tight sleeveless vest, leather boots and leather waistcoat, and holiday Christmas glitter nail polish. I'm pleased with my party get up as I look at myself in the full-length mirror, and I feel good -- sort of. But the slim figure, I feel, is slim due to my lack of appetite. A constant nausea -- a sense of loss fills my stomach instead of food. I eat because I must work and get through school. I must make an effort. I walk into the party.

People are laughing, talking, dancing and drinking... I head to the bar -- dutch courage. I often like this environment, but tonight is different. Very different. I feel alienated, aloof and detached. Funny, I've been feeling like this a lot these days. But here I am with no place to hide.

Snap out if I think. So I try. I walk up to two people I know. I walk up, smile (forced) and try to engage. After listening for a while (which feels like an eternity), I stop and glide away. I feel invisible. No, I AM invisible. It's not my imagination. "Have another drink. Maybe you're just not relaxed", says an inner not so convincing voice of the rational.

I try again. It's no good. I'm invisible yet I feel exposed with no place to hide. I leave and the door closes quietly behind me. I feels like it's the only thing that will know I've left.

I can't wait to get back to the apartment. Home hasn't even been that sweet either. My marriage was suffering -- buckling under the weight of depression. I'm working hard to hide my darkness from the light of day. I get to the apartment lobby and in full view of the enormous window exposing myself to the night, I sit and cry... I try to text a friend, but can't see the words I type... I abandon the text. I climb the stairs, enter our apartment, shower and quietly go to bed... My husband doesn't stir. I lay in the dark both metaphorically and literally...

Getting ready is now the best part of a party... But what's the point when I leave feeling worse and more depressed than before. I want to sleep and not wake up. Sad, but true. It's true what they say; loneliness is often felt more in a crowd than alone. All is not lost and I slowly plan to work towards a full recovery.

Another door closes, but stays just a little ajar in my life. I've opened the door to another life... I can now only participate in small groups at best, but really prefer one on one interactions with a close friend or partner. Priorities change. I find solitude in a long distance trail run. It's where I find peace, feel free from anxiety, alone, invisible, and with no place to hide...

The door is always ajar, but I work hard to keep the crack of light and to stop it closing completely. Depression is real, complex and multi-faceted. Don't ever ignore someone, or anyone for that matter. It can slam a door shut...


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