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The Uninvited Guest

I have everything I need, I am loved and cared for, I live in beautiful surroundings yet, today I struggle against the nearly irresistible and compelling urge to go out and buy something that I do not need, to spend money. I want to satisfy this craving for a supersized quarter pounder with cheese meal and a then a bottle of bourbon. I want to pass out until the day is gone. Such are the illogical, yet compelling thoughts visited upon me by depression. My “care” gauge indicates empty, my “do something” energy is nonexistent. I wish it were raining as to assuage my guilt about not doing anything like going out for a walk which I know can provide at least a temporary antidote for this sloppy, heavy, tarlike funk.

Mine has been diagnosed as low-level, long-term depression (dysthymia). It comes and goes seemingly as it pleases, almost cruelly as it appears with no apparent trigger or logical cause, no event to tie it to, no logical place to begin the process of healing my pain. Like a dark, heavy, gray cloud parked directly over my head blocking any chance at feeling the sun’s warmth. My shoulders feel like a heavy sandbag is draped around my neck. A dull sense of lifelessness clings to my soul like a sticky piece of bubblegum attached to the treads of my sneaker. Yes, I know that “tomorrow is another day,” and that “this too shall pass.” I also know that you will be back as an uninvited guest, a grimy, selfish, unyielding stranger that I know I don’t want in my life, but you come anyway forcing your way into my sacred space.

Who calls you up from the depths of darkness to consume my light? I surely do not yet here you are barging into my life like a detached family member showing up needing money and a place to stay. I have nothing for you, but you help yourself to my space anyway. You sit there and say nothing, you just stare with that same bored look on your face as you consume my every thought. You close my curtains and blinds and create a dark, shadowy space to appease your own filthy desires. I hate you but still you come. Perhaps it’s my hate that sets a place for you at my table. Perhaps you are a remnant of deeds past, the decisions and actions of others cast upon me before I had the means to fend you off. Your smugness disgusts me, your entitlement offends my every nerve. You have no worth, but you demand mine.

It's bad enough that you invade my tranquility, but you invite your friends, guilt and shame, to join you. Together you recklessly paw through my thoughts and feelings as though you are rummaging through a pile of old clothes at a yard sale. You serve my food, you freely share my wine with your filthy companions, you trash my home, and you push away those that love me. You lock the door so nobody can get in and I can’t get out. I have become your prisoner. I sit in this empty shell of the person I was yesterday. I am confined to your prison cell. I am an inmate under the guard of the dark cloud you have stationed over me. The frigidity of your presence chills me, I can’t get warm. When will you have your fill? When will you have gorged yourself on my charity to the point where you cannot swallow another bite?

Blue sky is your poison and I long to see your putrid flesh melt away as the energy of the sun shrivels your form and you vaporize like steam on a cold city street. And then it happens, a ray of sun slices through the cold, murky dome that just a moment ago was affixed over my head. You lash out in a desperate attempt to save yourself. Your efforts to cling to me are in vain as I feel the weight of your perch rising from my shoulders. You can’t escape fast enough for the sun’s energy outruns you. Lightness pours over me; I can move freely as I am no longer tethered by the chains of your doom. Your hasty departure has taken you without a goodbye, not so much as a slammed door on your way out. Like the wind you have made your escape. Good riddance.

No matter, I am once again wrapped in the warmth of love. I know you will be back, uninvited, bringing with you the putrid smell of dead, rotting dreams. But I get stronger with each of your visits. Someday you will no longer be able to brush off my resistance. You will no longer have access to my soul, to my world. I will see you when you return, pleading for shelter at my door.


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