When the Shadow of Me Returns

Last night my Other Me reappeared, the one of shadows. For, truly, that is where she always stands, lurking: the shadows of thoughts, the shadows of feelings, the shadows of anything I see or do.

It is she who colors a happy idea with doubt.

She deepens the uncertain edges of a frown in every smile.

The fear of possible failure to proposed activities? Also her.

I hadn’t seen her in a while; thought her to be gone. How little I knew. How I forgot. She does not ever go away, especially when I choose to ignore her instead of keep working to repel her. Especially, when I want her.

Last night I felt her; nearer and nearer. And, like a fool, I let her come. I asked her to grow, expand, envelop, then smother. Anything, I thought, is better than what I feel.

Because the Shadow of Me does not feel.

As I settled beneath the apathy and self-pity that I invited in, I twitched a bit in discomfort. Some part of me recognized the old, unhealthy patterns. Something deep within, in a timid voice, whispered, “I don’t think we want this.”

“Do we?”

Yet, not until this morning did I notice the source of the rain. Standing –no- languishing morosely in depthless puddles I blamed anyone but her; anyone but me for bringing her. Like a fool; I cursed the weatherman, the water, the sky, the mud. I failed to name the shadowed storm. It is Depression. And it is not what I needed.

Because, as familiar as Depression is, it is not a good solution.

As easy a solution as Depression appears, its fallout is more difficult to clean up than actual resolution.

But who wants to stand and face her troubles when Depression promises otherwise? I can tell you: not me. No, I chose fear. I chose to see My Shadow’s effects: small rocks on the trail ahead made to look like looming boulders; a few grumpy observations from my companion augmented to devastating predictions against success.

So I turned back.

Rappelled to our base camp of years ago.

And sat outside the tent, in the rain.

I’m still there, you see, but have shifted a bit. My seat felt somewhat wet so I moved to a less-muddy patch. Still depressed. It’s a new day, though; I can see the pervasive grayness is a lighter shade.

And, no, I’m not ready to climb again. ‘Tis a daunting thought.

I think I’ll start with an umbrella. From there, I just might gain the perspective I need to change into dry clothes and eat some rations. We’ll see.

25 thoughts on “When the Shadow of Me Returns

  1. For some people (me included) depression cycles. Because I haven’t found any meds that work, I work around it. When my depression is at a low point, I try to accomplish those things I put off. When the depression surges up again, I do the best I can…

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  2. Come in out of the rain, Chelsea.

    There, I’ve said it. If you won’t listen to you, then listen to a friend.

    – Deandra

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  3. Depression sucks… it hits for seemingly no reason. I’m coming out of this latest funk… it is shorter lived. Just recently I learned to acknowledge my depression and sit with it… feel it, and that makes it easier (sometimes) to let it go. And meds… always meds (for me). May this cycle be short! ❤️

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  4. In it’s own way, being able to detect the onset of a depressive phase is a blessing. You have an amazing set of tools at your disposal and I am ready to bet a set of pruning shears is among them. Nip it in the bud. You have much more important things to prepare yourself for right now… and I’ve cheated and read your posts in descending order, so I know of what I speak…..

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  5. This is a very honest description of depression, Chelsea. Sometimes we do need to take stock and regroup but it’s not always easy to shake off the dampness of depression. An umbrella can help to keep us dry long enough for the sun to return. I hope your sun returns soon.

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