Sometimes you’re back and I fear that you won’t go away. That you’re here to stay indefinitely. Looming over me. Conspicuous in your presence. Always lingering in the background. An unwanted guest. An insidious presence. Some perceive you as a black cloud or even a black dog. Clouds blow away in a gust of wind. They come and go. Dogs are a source of joy. You are neither.
Your presence causes my mind to swirl with possibilities. A whirlpool of what ifs move in and oust any other coherent thought. What if you never leave? What if I slip further and further? What if I’m not strong enough this time? What if I’m not me anymore? The me I fought so hard to be, to find, to recover after last time. One question leads to another. Spiraling out of control. So many questions with no answers.
I’ll only know when I know. When I get there. When I pull myself out. When I find my way back. Perhaps this one episode will go. After days, weeks or months. I know eventually it’s likely to pass. Your visit may be fleeting as it has been in the past. And yet, you can occupy my every waking thought. Only to disappear as if you’d never truly existed. No evidence of your presence except the exhaustion you leave in your wake. Exhaustion and the wondering. Were you real? Were you truly back? Did I worry prematurely? Or was it all in my head?
The fears crowd in on me and their presence reassures me. Whilst I fear, I am safe. I’m not down the rabbit hole yet. When the questions dominate I know I’m still fighting. I’m resisting the urge to let go. To let you in and take over my life. No-one realizes how tempting it is. To allow you into the driving seat. To pass over the the reins and let depression take charge for a while. To welcome you back as an old friend with open arms. The lure undeniable. And when I’m tempted. That’s when alarm bells should go off. When I want you to take my hand. When I don’t want to fight anymore. That’s when I need your help. I need you to remind me I can keep on surviving. Because that’s what it is. A fight for my survival. If I let go there’s no way of knowing when I’ll be back. If I’ll be back.