The Truth About Being In The Hole

Posted on November 21, 2012


This was written when I was in a particularly low mood earlier in the summer. I couldn’t see much light at the end of that long dark tunnel and had been thinking about starting a blog called The Truth, bringing together the writings of some of my friends that confess the truth of how we feel when we’re in a pretty dark place. Here’s one of my first pieces. It’s pretty raw, and unedited for authenticity – so please forgive any typos. If you get to the end, I thank you for reading and appreciate any comments.

I don’t fear death, I fear the rupture in the earth for those I leave behind. The people – or person – who has made it very clear they gave their own life up to have me. Its this unwilling bond that keeps me here. Yet should that bond break, and I was caught up in the overwhelming sense of darkness that engulfs me, I think I would indulge the fantasy. After all I just don’t see the point in it sometimes. I’m losing grip on the underlying foundations that support most humans and show them why its important to keep going. I feel like i’m repeating, on repeat, repeat repeat. It’s eating my soul and gagging on the hard to chew part, a most unpleasant thing.

I fear that I can’t keep painting over the cracks, that happiness is only temporary – i’ve never been happy for very long, if i’m really honest about it. The temporary distractions that come from the cocoon of love and friendship are like mouth wash to an already infected gum.

I suspect i’m one of these people who will never be happy. I suspect that I will go to my grave having never really been happy, and I suspect if I don’t continue to wear this mask that those who love me the most will go their graves deeply unhappy about their ‘failings’. Which makes me feel worse.

The trouble with grief, anger and sadness is that people expect you to move on. They expect it to pass, for us to accept it for what it is and find new things to satiate the space that occupied our brains with this grief. And in order to avoid awkwardness we pretend its gone to keep the order of the world moving in the right direction, avoiding the outwardly stagnating presence of our grief that unless kept covert, would push people away to the point that you may as well be dead.

Masks, paint, layers, whatever you want to call it. They all cover up the inner most thoughts that litter our conscience, that dampen the soul and prevent an ability to get up in the morning and simply look forward to the day.

I used to say with a new day came new possibilities, new emotions, new perspective, new interactions, new laughs, new possibilities. New possibilities. I believed it. But as time goes by and I can no longer paste over the widening cracks I find this mantra all the harder to sustain.

As I sink ever deeply into an abyss, I know that I won’t always feel this way. I know there is a slither of a chance that I may live a seemingly normal existence, that someone will make me realise my fears are less about the family I would leave behind but more about the family I will never have, and its okay by that point because it’s a gift they’re able to give me. And I really mean it when I say gift, because its really got to be with someone special. I won’t settle for anything less.

It’s not negative: it’s there. Like a red hot heat poking at me, leering and jeering. When it’s really just my gut. A feeling. An instinct. It feels like romance has been in limited supply in my life – but then i’ve been looking for it in all the wrong places. And i’m struggling with perception. I can’t see what other’s see and its blinding me, I feel polarised and gagged and stripped of my dignity. I carry this knowledge around me and its a burden. What chance of romance or respect does a person have when they have this knowledge inside of them?

There is no end to this story that compliments or balances a typical story or narrative, it just is what it is. Being told by the person you love that they don’t love you anymore. It’s finding someone who you want to spend the rest of your life with, and they don’t want children. It’s attracting boys and not men. It’s being intimidated by the amazing ones and only feeling comfortable with the ones who will let you down. It is what it is. It’s always having wanted to have been a creative, to tell the stories of the world – only to be told by highly creative people that it’s your job to sell more advertising.

The truth of depression is that sometimes the things that cause you struggle, are like water off a duck’s back to others. So unless you have a solid reason for the depression, it’s hard for people to really understand. The truth of depression is that sometimes, whilst you would wish no ill on others, you fantasise about bad things happening, so you finally can justify the way you feel. The truth about depression is that when bad things really do happen, you come out fighting, and show a level of strength you didn’t even know you had.

The truth is, no one really knows what anyone is going through. That popular person at the office might be crying herself to sleep at night. The boardroom director who takes no prisoners, may suffer from anxiety when you’re not looking. The person at the peek of their rise to fame, may be going home with a supermodel on their arm yet secretly inside feels empty and alone.

Comic book lore paints heroes in masks. Were their animators suffering from this debilitating disease? Are the real heroes the people who stick it out on this earth, playing the various roles that life inflicts on them? And if we play the roles for long enough do we start to go native and believe our false hype?

We think we have the answers to all our inner most problems – get a new job, with a payrise;  have a baby, get married, fall in love, buy a house, go travelling, take a holiday, buy some cool new clothes, upgrade your car, get pampered, have a nice bath, watch a good box set, enjoy a lie in, read a book, cook a good meal.  These things are no better than a handful or two tins of paint. Lead a colourful life.

I best go delete a bunch of depressing statements so as not to offend or scare the reader…the truth is, I’d hate for them to think I’d brought the mood down.

Oh and you know what else The Truth also is? It’s seeing other people happy, especially on facebook… and hating them for [correction: feeling irritated by] it.

People are always saying to me, ‘oh i’ve been following your exploits on facebook – its good to see you up to so much great stuff’. So I decided it was even more important to write this blog – I may be not be brave enough to post these ramblings in front of my wider social circle – yet – but i’m definitely more conscious of how the world perceives me, and how I let them perceive me. I think it’s important for people – within reason – to know the truth. It’s that fear of judgment and failure that stops the world from truly understanding the complexities of depression.

Posted in: The Truth