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Justin M. Stoddard

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What Depression Is
April 14, 2011 — 5:59 pm

Depression is an agglutinative affliction, combining unease and malaise. It shirks confidence and pushes it towards the bottom of a medicinal bottle, where it lingers, offering an unworthy and self-destructive release.

It’s a weary temptation, crowding out the rational, promising the unattainable.

When its shadow crosses my mind, I attempt to throw my thoughts towards the sublime. A remembrance of fingers interlocked, resting on the center console of the car, in perfect unilateral symmetry, her thumb resting slightly, effeminately upon my own.

When that fails. And, it will fail; I turn towards a path in the autumnal woods, treading lightly upon halcyon leaves not yet turned to dust; the air slightly penetrating, carrying the sound of my footfalls throughout creation, daring another soul to reach out towards its origin.

These paths are well worn. Distant footprints from past episodes are mutely present; some meandering, some following a well traveled groove. Trenchant and indecisive shadows of journeys past intermingle, recreating muted synaptic firing, retarding serotonin uptake.

This is where depression takes me, shrouded in reds and golds, the surrounding trees perpetually shedding their life-force, catching me in a rain of falling chlorophyll starved leaves, spreading themselves upon the forest floor as a dryer fresh blanket is snapped upon a waiting bed, smoothed out at the corners by still warm hands, gently patting down unsightly lumps that fight against conformity.

It’s an indulgence that lulls one to complacency, a siren song willing you to rest your nodding head upon your breast, shushing you with a whispering lullaby. Sleep. Sleep. There’s always tomorrow. Sleep.

One must always fight this, one must always lift leaden legs and begin to stomp through the woods, crashing into the scenery, making a mockery of, and destroying the landscape.

One must make this place uninhabitable, turn a cold eye towards it and tear down its facade.

It’s a battle. It’s always a battle. It’s the ineluctable and unwanted chore of turning against yourself, mocking that part of you that wishes to ablate. The strongest part of you must reach down to the bottom of that medicinal bottle and torch the leaves, kill the landscape. One must be unmerciful about the matter.

One must always hope that others hear your baleful footfalls carried over a penetrating breeze.

Though it stoops, the diminutive must not be allowed to conquer.

— Justin M. StoddardComments (0)

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