William Blake - The Ancient Of Days.
Today, I do not hide behind or abandon myself to clinical labels, Today that is. I sit behind a keyboard that has enabled me to move beyond habitual wounds. This week is depression awareness week, for some everyday is depression awareness day.
Two years ago I never thought I'd be writing anything again. Today I still battle against the invisible currents circling around. Personally I have found through depression the ability to take a long and hard look at the world and take it apart at the seams, to once again critically engage in what were once disorientated moments of strangeness and and fear and follow freedom's breath whenever it comes near.
I have been luck to discover true friends who have journeyed with me and my obstacles, making them closer still.
Everyone struggles, some of us unfortunately have to challenge every living moment.Statistics if you like that type of thing say that 1 in 5 of the World's population will succumb to depression at some point in their lifes, some of it will be short bouts, others will find themselves in its grasp for long periods of time.
At the moment the Government and the D.W.P ( Department of Work and Pensions) want to drown any confidence recently gained with their attacks on people on D.L.A ( Disability Living Alllowance) and Incapacity Benefit. People suddenly are facing the most stringent evaluations of their mental health at a time when already full of indecision, their paths still unwinding. The most vulnerable of societies members being attacked because of capitalism's greed.
I have found their is no magic formulae for the riddance of depression. Psychiatry I'm afraid often hinders and mountains overnight do not simply dissapeear.Medication often just masks problems and can make some people even more insecure.
Remember we live in a very hostile world, where people like to stigmatise and label. Yet despite this illness can be a liberating force, where specks of light set sail through black holes. Doing this blog has been just one aspect that keeps me surviving. Dance on we have nothing to lose but our chains.
The following extract to me paints a picture of depression in all its totality.
From The Book of Disquiet.
It is one of those days when the monotony of everything oppresses me like being thrown into jail. The monotomy of everything is merely the monotony of myself, however. Each face, even if seen just yesterday, is different today, because today isn't yesterday. Each day is the day it is, and there was never another one like it in the world. Only our soul makes the identification - a genuinely felt but erroneous identification - by which everything becomes similar and simplified. The world is a set of disquiet things with varied edges, but if we're near-sighted, it's a continual and indecipherable fog.
I feel like fleeing. Like fleeing from what I know, fleeing from what's mine, fleeing from what I love. I want to depart, not for impossible Indias or for the great islands south of everything, but for any place at all - villages or wilderness - that isn't this place. I want to stop seeing these unchanging faces, this routine, these days. I want to rest sleep come to me as life, not as rest. A cabin on the seashore or even a cave in a rocky mountainside could give me this, but my will, unfortunately, cannot.
Slavery is the law of life, and it is the only law, for it must be observed: there is no revolt possible, no way to escape it. Some are born slaves, others become slaves, and still others are forced to accept alavery. Our faint-hearted love of freedom - which, if we had it, we would all reject, unable to get used to it - is proof of how imagined our slavery is. I myself, having just said that I'd like a cabin or a cave where I could be free from the monotomy of everything, which is the monotomy of me - would I dare set out for this cabin or cave, knowing from experience that the monotomy, since it stems from me, will always be with me? I myself, suffocating from where I am because I am - where would I bretahe easier, if the sickness is in my lungs rather than in the things that surround me? I myself, who long for pure sunlight and open country, for the ocean in plain view and the unbroken horizon - could I get used to my new bed, the food, not having to descend eight flights of stairs in the street, not entering the tobacco shop on the corner, not saying good-morning to the barber standing outside his shop?
Everything that surrounds us becomes part of us, infiltrating our physical sensations and our feelings of life, and like spittle of the great Spider it subtlty binds us to whatever is close, tucking us into a soft bed of slow death which is rocked by the wind. Everything is us, and we are everythuing, but what good is this, if everything is nothing? A ray of sunlight, a cloud whose shadow tell us it is passing, a breeze that rises, the silence that follows when it ceases, one or another face, a few voices, the incidental laughter of the girls who are talking, and then night with the meaningless, fractured hieroglyphs of the stars.
The Book of Disquiet,
Translated from the Portugese by Richard Zenith
( Allen Lane/Penguin Books, 20001).
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