Inside a Man Can Be a Universe of Darkness

Depression feels like an unbecoming, an unraveling of who I am

___

Inside your body is a universe that you cannot see. At times, that universe can become so dark that you feel as though you have lost your sight. It can be a terrifying darkness, inside. Because when you can no longer see, you begin to lose your way.

And when you lose your way, you begin to lose yourself.

Each one of us is made of roughly a hundred trillion cells and in each of those cells is another hundred trillion cells. And if you can go there, every tiny cell is filled with another trillion atoms. Your brain is full of cells, a hundred billion cells.

My depression feels as though I am slowly unbecoming: I am losing myself. I am becoming unraveled.

Yet at times, a man may not feel the near-infinite nature of his physical self. Instead, he sees what is on the outside: arms, legs, feet, hands, torso, head. Flesh and bones.

Astrophysicist Carl Sagan called us all ‘star-stuff’ because there is a universe inside each one of us. Our DNA is our ancestry, our connection with humanity and with the essence of the universe itself.

A universe of darkness

My depression feels as though I am slowly unbecoming: I am losing myself. I am becoming unraveled.

Depression makes you forget the mystery of the universe within you and instead you become lost inside of the universe. You feel as though all that you are is a universe of darkness.

Depression is a cruel artist. As it works, it distorts you. It distorts how you experience and what you experience.

Some time ago, I wrote about my universe of darkness. One of the mysteries I have learned is that when you write about your darkness, sometimes you feel a little lighter. Other times, you may feel just as dark.

I have come to see that writing about my darkness is a gift. Not because I am necessarily gifted at writing. But because writing reminds me that my darkness will lift. It always does.

My depression has taught me to have courage to see. I see myself. I see the universe.

Some time ago, I wrote this verse when all that I could see was the darkness. Right then, I could not imagine that the universe also contained tiny pins of light. I could only see the darkness.

Today, I am better at seeing. Seeing who I am. Seeing the universe inside of me. Seeing my darkness, while making a little room to also see the tiny pins of light.

Shrinking into myself. I fall.

Why do I I fight with myself? I call.

Skin crawls. Mind races.

Empty, I walk through my paces.

The unscratchable. Itch.

Why do I I fight with myself? I call. Skin crawls. Mind races. Empty, I walk through my paces. The unscratchable. Itch. The bitch that won’t stitch. I kick.

The itch is two feet under my skin. The bitch.

The bitch that won’t stitch. I kick.

The air with an empty boot. Thick.

And full of empty longings. Racing.

Head bangs. Empty mirror. Facing.

An appointment with a hole.

A hole in my soul.

• • •

I write to remind myself about my own tiny bits of light. I share stories of hope and reminders that each of us can recover. You can read my blog on mental health and addiction recovery by clicking here Getting High on Recovery.

Keep it Real

Previously published by smswaby on the Good Men Project

Photos by smswaby and Joshua Earle on Unsplash


One thought on “Inside a Man Can Be a Universe of Darkness

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