Depression, according to Mind charity, is a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life.
It can mean just being in low spirits, leaving you able to function on a day to day basis; or can be life-threatening because it can make you feel suicidal or simply give up the will to live.
This poem tackles Depression and emotions that it breeds, in a playful and comic manner – an attempt at approaching and airing out a serious topic to many without causing others to reel away or switch off.
Depressive Love Affair
My dismembered frailties have become too human.
Developed egos, setting out before me to live the life I was promised.
Weaknesses, considered characteristics, have resided so long in this protagonist that they have developed their own wills. To the point where they have begun living and doing things the protagonist would otherwise do. An absurd observation pointing to the abstract length the protagonist has suffered with depression.
Doubt went out on the pull and brought Failure home.
I watched as they lay on a bed of despair and whispered about dreams of pessimism.
Depression can make socialising a terrifying, and consequently, absent thing. The personification of Doubt is an interesting thing to observe. The otherwise uncertain feeling suddenly gains an air of bravado, embodies Laddism, and goes out on the pull. This is to show the distorting power depression has on people and their emotions.
The line “brought Failure home” can be interpreted in many ways, but there are two intended versions.
One: Many young men go out on the pull and fail, returning home and (perhaps distasteful but real) pleasure themselves instead – to put it simple terms. This is one observation of loneliness depression breeds.
Two: The culture of binge drinking and casual sex has existed for decades in western societies. Although there are many reasons why people partake in the ‘going-out’ culture, I latch onto the negative – feelings of failure and inadequacy lead one out into the search for satisfaction and an injection of ego and self-esteem. In this sense, both Doubt and Failure are failures, wishing to drown their sorrows in each other; hence the line “whispered about dreams of pessimism”.
The element of voyeurism is another attempt at observing what depression leads to. In this sense, a feeling of detachment from the self, and observing the self.
Insecurity finally moved out.
How we would love to be rid of our insecurities. Yet it’s not that easy. The wishful thinking of insecurities finally vacating our minds is another observation of depression’s effect on emotions.
A one-bedroom unfurnished flat was exactly what she was looking for.
She told me about her spontaneous trip to Ikea where she returned empty handed,
And decorated her home for hours.
Insecurity personified decorates her home with emptiness. And emptiness is a feeling augmented when afflicted with depression.
With no one for company, I picked up my phone,
Scrolled and scrolled until Lonely caught my eye.
“I wonder how he’s doing”
I better give him a call but…
I was met by silence.
The age of technology. Making it so easy to contact anyone and talk. Yet even that has been complicated. There’s a lack to even make the call as it happens haphazardly out of boredom, and a lack to communicate from Lonely’s perspective. For although when you feel loneliness whilst depressed, the will to socialise is scarce or at worst, nonexistent.
So I picked up my keys and drove to a bar where I had promised to catch up with Stoicism.
We were childhood friends,
Introduced when crying was no longer allowed,
When emotions decided to be feminine,
And when I decided to be like father.
There can also be a lack of emotion. Observing Laddism once more, talking about or feeling certain emotions is a pseudo-taboo. Introducing depression into this mindset can only lead to a heightened form of stoicism.
We talked and talked for hours about exercises to make the pain bearable.
Sit ups in the morning, press ups at night,
What better way to deal with emotions than with stone-cold masculinity? Another absurd, comical yet real observation.
And that’s when I saw her.
The most beautiful thing gliding across the dancefloor.
I fell in love with Depression.
Depression can at times be a self-fulfilling prophecy, caught in a paradox. You’re sad, lonely, empty because of depression, and you’re depressed because you feel sad, lonely, and empty.
Once a way of being and thinking sets, it’s all you know. How to be cynical, stoic, etc. become the new way of being. One that you settle in and grow to accept.
Months went by but the honeymoon phase never ended.
We would spend hours in bed,
Sleep could wait.
When we bothered to loosen our hold on each other,
She would treat me to her famous shepherd’s pie, sprinkled with Anxiety.
We would dance to the music of silence,
And when the mood was just right, she would hold me close and whisper
“I’m so glad we met, you’re the perfect type of hopeless”.
As depression makes itself a home in your mind, you find comfort in it. You stay in bed for days on end, like mad lovers on a honeymoon, only getting out to meet the basic human needs. Only reveling in each other, and whispering sweet nothings.
This distorted account is depression’s severe effect.
As I wrote this, imagined a young man (and myself at times) alone in bed, static for days on end, wishing he could reel his emotions back in so he could feel again; wishing he could just get up, go out, and fall into someone so he could feel pleasure; wishing he could just leave this feeling behind by surrounding himself with a new environment; wishing he could just call a friend and confide in them without the stereotypical “just cheer up” or “let’s have a drink, you’ll feel better” response waiting; wishing his past love would bring him comfort rather than pain of its end. With no hope of escape.