My feet found my floor mat as my hands secured themselves around the big truck’s steering wheel. I stared straight ahead and thought hard.Really painfully hard. I honestly had no idea what exactly had just transpired on Beatrice’s couch beyond her closed pale ivory colored door. My veins all stood out and my heart raced. I retraced my steps. Walked back in my mind and tried to figure out what had changed. Why was I sitting there like someone had just touch me with a live wire? What was I feeling? I couldn’t concentrated beyond the wired adrenaline coursing my veins. I remembered the moment the session shifted from an unfocused innocuous one to something very different. I had noted Beatrice was tired. I very rarely see that. When I am on her couch I am normally the one seeking space and finding places to put my eyes so as not to lock in on her intent gaze. Today wasn’t like that. We floated topic to topic, untethered. Far from where we visited last session. I was content with that. I wasn’t ready to revisit my father, and she knew that. We continued this light back and forth and it seemed this session would be just one of those “get it done” and move on. The put everything back together and make nice before we plunged headlong into the next difficult session. I need those. a lot. I can’t go session to session with the same intensity. yet. I think I might get there, but it seems a ways off. and in all likelihood it might not be what works for me anyhow. So the minutes ticked by. She asked if we could talk about my letter to depression. I didn’t see why not. I figured we had glazed over it previously and it needed a bit of processing. and so the session took its first hard right turn. “It is seductive isn’t it?” she questioned. She was speaking of the suicidal images and thoughts that break like fireworks across a dull and grey depressed mind. “Yes”. This was not a newsflash. I knew this, as does she and Virgil. But it started a steady description of the days, weeks and months that become my existence at times.
It is so bland, drab and colorless this place I come to live in. Everything smells less. I taste food differently. I hate using grey to describe it because I feel that is so overused. There is a reason for that. IT IS GREY. VERY GREY. As each tableau loses color and fades a little piece of me disconnects further. Piece by piece, item by item my world changes. I’m eventually left with nothing of appeal. Nothing that catches my eye or holds my attention. Not that I can concentrate on much. I stop looking. I stop seeing. It becomes a world of wrote and of routine. wake up, go to sleep. wake up and go to sleep. over and over. The only thing I want to do is sleep. Everything else is so exquisitely painful. The pain hollows me out, much like you’d core a pumpkin for carving. Devoid of flesh I repeat the routine. There comes a breaking point though, when the pain just cannot be dealt with anymore. My life becomes brittle and tenuous. I stop feeling anything. I start to lose track of where I begin and where I end. Just a cardboard figure propped in a grey landscape. It takes little to push me over. I easily lose balance since nothing of substance remains. But there is a place for me in those long endless days wishing for sleep. It flashes vermillion across my mind. It is a shock that first time it comes. Like that brush with a live wire. The electricity is long gone yet still your skin tingles as if it remains. Your nerves and cells reliving in excitement that brush. And so too does my mind. The images come and go. The color and clarity remain. I find myself staring off into space wondering where it went. The pursuit begins. This repeats. In time the colors and textures fill the void of my mind. The tapestry so beautiful and stark in contrast to the cardboard existence. My brittle broken mind loses itself within the fantasy of light and color. It is simulating. It is exciting. It is soothing. I get lost in it. Time loses shape. I am not here. I am too busy cobbling together these images. My heart pounding. I see it and just as fast lose it. It is fleeting, but it is there. I take hold and it becomes my truth. I don’t see the distortion. I only see what I have carefully woven. My end.
You don’t get that. I understand. I cannot put words to the experience. I fumble in all my attempts. yet today I felt you HAD to know. I was willing to let you see my reality in those times. I let go. In my mind I stepped back into my world. It sat much as I had left it last I visited, still dressed in my desperation and despair. I heard the words leaving my lips but I was not with you on that couch. I was not there. I felt the live wire flicker, recognized my unfinished work. I let you see. I fought my way back. I had said too much. been far too truthful. I had let you see my place of salvation and of demise. As I felt my way along the edge of your throw pillow and pulled myself back into your office I knew I had gone somewhere different. I felt that electricity crackling just beneath my skin. I knew where I had been. I scanned the words in my head and tried to piece together the prior minutes. and so you asked “Do you say that to Virgil?”. Not sure if it was the deer in the headlights expression, or the mention of Virgil but I knew it must have not been good.
I drove home battling the desire to throw up. I was so amped up I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself. I needed to get some distance from where I had been. I thought about what made this day different. Why today? Why did I let myself go there? I guess I was angry. Angry because nobody seems to get it. The magic and the awe. It is special my place up there in my head where I go to hide and delight in all things lethal. But I was left with nothing but a sick feeling and a judgemental mind when I returned from my sightseeing today. I’m sick, you see. Really sick. It is my addiction of choice. When everything goes to shit I don’t turn to alcohol or drugs, no, I wander down my rabbit hole. I rejoice in this land of sights and sounds. To be stimulated by something, anything. anything to be free of a world with nothing. Absolutely nothing. A cardboard hollow where even pain is no longer felt. The numb frigid barren landscape of my depression. So yes, I take that hit. I chase that pipe because of all the dreams it offers. I stop looking for a way to get better. I don’t see the distortion in this absurd reality I have cobbled together. I don’t see that the Nightly Feature Presentation is my suicide. MY DEATH. my end. Because there is no end in this fantasy world. There is no time, no place. No clocks on the walls. No calendars. No people. Just me. just my sickness. and so I sit transfixed in its presence. that live wire jolt to rekindle my heart. I cannot look away, nor refuse. I accept every time. Like the addict I am. I want anything but the nothingness I am living in. You see? CAN YOU SEE NOW? I let you in.
but where do we go from here? I can sit in shocked recoil, sickened by this, but I cannot deny the scope of its power. I cannot see nor comprehend where we go from here. How do we battle this? How do we tarnish the vibrancy? stifle the wonderment? How do we make it less inviting? Is that even possible? I guess I am left here watching the afterglow fade and wishing for another chance to step inside. Just to feel it. Touch it. Taste it. It eclipses everything else. Nothing else comes close. Nothing else makes me feel as alive. Talk about irony. I can only shake my head and wonder what you saw today.