I do not have depression. However, I have darkness, which disguises itself as depression. One thing I have come to find about darkness is it’s real, as real as a broken wrist bone, as real as a playful dog. It doesn’t have to be conquered by the despair of one hundred oppressed dragons epitomizing you to become a source of good. This closet that I hang fear inside is full of discoverable lost secrets. I befriend the darkness and hide in it some days when it feels like too much to bear but I will keep sifting… and keep feeling until the boulder in my chest erodes.
Allow me to paint my dramatic picture. Have you ever felt impenetrable? Like, the loveliest rose- colored sunset can’t even peak in. All the kind reassuring words given to you are meaningless. Basically, the passionate life you love feels like memories, stuck inside a dormant volcano. This is the neglected darkness in charge, untamed due to a shaky fear of her texture and flavor and a projection of how it will change you.
I am embarrassed by the dominating darkness dimming my days for over a month now… Darkness lingers in wintertime and winter is now. This is not your fault. I am forced to face the alternative of being alien to this unaccommodating world or just weak in the knees in the face of no obvious light. I noticed today while sitting on my bed that I have felt very empty, day after day. Running on nothing but distractions and the fleeting momentum you gain from faking it. I feel the stone over my soft heart sometimes, and I can’t help but hate what it does to my life. When I turn toward this cold, jagged layer inside of me, I run the risk of it becoming something outside of me. I become injured prey in the wild jungle. All I have left is the instinct to locate safety, in someone, in something, but that body or substance of refuge never lasts forever, which angers me. I want to run as far away as possible in hope that this costume will stop teasing me and just go away. After running, my exhausted emptiness will fantasize a home for my sensitive heart to sit for a while. The daydream will excite by alcohol, drugs, sex, and food. When the dream fades, the darkness has caught up with me. The smell of fear attracts her. Then something like a circular whirl starts to replicate.
Nothing has taste but I eat anyway hoping there’s a springtime in my mouth and my taste buds have returned. The intention has changed from enjoying to numbing. Before the yellow light can turn to red, everyone’s minds are inside mine. The sky is the only place that I want to go to but my eyes are the only travelers that get there, leaving my heavy body to feel.
When the darkness consumes me to the point of a million sirens blaring into channels of tears, like it did today on my bed, I feel alive again, an eruption of past aliveness mingled with the present, and thank Goodness, some relief. My defense mechanisms refuse to fire because the heart of love and acceptance will prevail. I am hopeful that the next time the darkness visits, I can meet it with a smile, lifting its veil with kindness in my trembling hands, knowing what it’s made out of…gold treasures of wise secrets, Earth’s and ancestor’s belongings.
About the Artist:
My name is Anna Freundl. I grew up in Wisconsin and lived on my own for the first time in Chicago where I connected my unique self to the busy world around me at DePaul University. I overcame an eating disorder by embracing self love while studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I strengthened my heart by moving to Shambhala Mountain Center after college and now my adventure has rooted in New Orleans, where I am now a Wine Rep! I enjoy vulnerability exchanges, dining out, the sun, my Pitbull baby girl, connecting old friends with new friends, and learning how to love my growing roots in a body that constantly wants to flee and fly like a bird.