Monday, October 08, 2007


I cannot define depression. I know, vaguely, what it's like to not be depressed, but I can't explain depression because it's my natural state. Can you explain what being alive is like?

I have a metaphor for depression in my head that fits the descriptive words we use for it. I stand on a cliff in the fog. I can see the cliff, and I know I will die if I go over it, but I can't see much else in the fog. Sometimes I get near the cliff, sometimes I sit on the edge and look into the fog. Sometimes I stay away from the cliff and it barely registers to me.

The fog is the annoying thing. I can't see clearly. Every once in a great while the fog will lift enough that I can see a person, or a building, or sometimes even the sky. But most of the time it's just endless drab fog. It's not a mysterious fog, or a comfortable fog. Just endless ugly gray.

I imagine that normal people have no fog. They can see everything, experience all their emotions, clearly. Sure, every once in awhile the fog will creep into their lives, and they will become depressed, but most of the time they don't have the fog.

They think I can make the fog go away by pure willpower. They tell me to "get over it". Can you change the weather outside just by thinking? I cannot change the fog inside me that way. It simply is. I can pretend I'm seeing clearly, but the fog is always there.

I haven't got the words to make people understand. I haven't got the eloquence to truly describe what it's like. I only have a very simple metaphor.

Today the fog is thick, and I'm very near to the cliff.