Retreat into Darkness

Another gray day in Ashland, Oregon

Living with depression is always a mysterious business. I had been doing so well, for a really long time. It’s not that I had forgotten what depression was like, or that I didn’t have days where I was feeling depressed, but they passed quickly.

Over the last few weeks, though, I unexpectedly descended into the dark tunnel of severe depression. I’ve never liked the idea of spelunking, and I still don’t like it. Even darkness with a flashlight can be a bit scary. Being without one is terrifying.

I don’t know if it came on because it’s been very gray, rainy, and cold here in Ashland. Or if it was coming back from a glorious trip to Hawaii. Or if it was the shitty behavior that I’ve been on the receiving end of, from the gallery I belong to. Or all of the above. Or just chemicals being difficult.

It’s actually an exercise in futility trying to figure out the why of the equation here. It’s all about surviving day to day, without knowing when the depression will lift. Dealing with the fear that it won’t lift at all. Holding on to a small bit of hope, even in the midst of feeling like you’re being flogged mercilessly.

I believe I’m coming out of the tunnel, and I’m very thankful and relieved. The saying, “That which does not kill you, makes you stronger”, has always annoyed me. Maybe there is truth to it, but I prefer, “That which does not kill you, pisses you off, and drains the living heck out of you!”

Catching glimpses of the light, in Ashland, Oregon


  1. I’m so sorry you’ve been so under the cloud of the darkness recently. I can relate to how hard and horrible a place it is. It’s good to hear there’s some lightness coming back through that you can see, and you’re right – whatever doesn’t kill us drains us, makes us miserable & leaves us utterly shattered – but also, perhaps, sometimes with a stronger resolve for better days ahead!
    Caz xx

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