I remember, after a religious conversion, seeing the sky. It was blue.
It was as if the world had suddenly burst into vibrant color. I was Dorothy and I found myself in Oz when previously I had only known sepia Kansas.
I took this as evidence of the correctness of my new religion. Years later, upon reflection, I realize that I had found something more powerful, although more vague and mysterious: hope.
My life prior had been fully greedy, violent, resigned, and indifferent. My life changed at this time and I gained some freedom. That freedom gave birth to a fragile hope. And the world bloomed in color as it became more beautiful than I had ever known it could be.
The world was the same, of course, but I had new eyes.
But the dark world of my past came back to haunt me. This time it was more menacing, powerful, and hellish than I had ever felt before. It was a long time of grief.
Again, the reality we interact within and share remained as it is and I was the change that threw my life into chaos. Whether stolen, forgotten, or abandoned, the result was the same; my hope was gone.
The bright blue sky, same wherever it is visible-no matter where you are-was fading to some pale gray tinged derivative. I would still try to find that perfect sky from five years ago: tropical beaches, small boats on the ocean, fields with distant horizons.
But my hopeless was gray. The weather was brutal winters. The kind that bite deep into your bones. Or it was dingy, soaking rain with no umbrella. Or oppressive heat that sizzles and bakes away energy and time.
The places around me were full of ugliness and cruelty. Or indifference to me, as I became isolated from life.
I saw joy and love others’ experienced from life as if separated by a thick panel of glass. It was clear. My vision didn’t seem distorted. And the scene was somewhat familiar. But even if it had been strange, it would have been radiant still, beautiful still.
My life on the other side of the glass was dark. Trapped in this small cage, I couldn’t find any way out.And as days, then months, passed, my energy started evaporating. Trying was harder as hope died. As it was dying, fear crept in. After fear made a home named anxiety in my heart, resignation settled in.
Isolated, in pain, hopeless, despairing-that is how I existed. And the days and months added up to years. As I moved geographically, my despair and grief packed up and moved along with me. I was chased across the world, through time zones and countries, by a dark shadow only I felt.
Myself was dead. Somehow, while I was drowning in intense pain, who I was became less than a memory. It was as if she had never existed.
The conscious moments were I chose the wrong instead of the right had led me somewhere inescapable. My mistakes that created despair that radiated outward to everyone in connection to me. I was only sobbing, messy, dirty, and disgusting.
And because hope had already died, anxiety taken rooted, and resignation crowned, this hell was the only reality possible. That glass wasn’t one-sided. Those who looked back at me felt as helpless as I knew I was. No one could help, many tried, the only ones who survived were the ones who gave free gifts of love over and over to an unchanging, unrescued prisoner.
This grief is called depression.
This was the darkest depression I had ever felt in my short life that had already many times been tainted by darkness.