My Dark Companion   Leave a comment

Did the Beck Depression Inventory this morning, as it was easing off . . .

I scored 41 . . .  just inside the cut-off for “Extreme Depression”.

(The music starts at 1:11 if you want to “fast forward”, gentle readers. . .)

In darkness let me dwell; the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair, to bar all cheerful light from me;
The walls of marble black, that moist’ned still shall weep;
My music, hellish jarring sounds, to banish friendly sleep.
Thus, wedded to my woes, and bedded to my tomb,
O let me living die, till death do come, till death do come.

In darkness, let me dwell . . .

. . . What do you do, over the course of about three days, when your score on the Beck Depression Inventory is consistently 40 points or more (40 and above = “extreme depression”) . . . you think the only reason you have to go on living . . . is to take care of your departed mother’s elderly Siamese cats . . . ?

And lately you’re thinking . . . Spoon out two cans of catfood for them, make sure their water bowl is full, leave the front door open, and just before you hang yourself, pin a note to your shirt saying: “Will someone please take care of Cagnie and Lacey for me?”

My life is so futile. It is so empty. It is so pointless.

How many of us, I once asked a friend, kill themselves because they’re figured out, it just ain’t worth the candle to continue . . . ? He offered probably a lot more than they’d care to tell us. Whoever “they” are.

I feel . . . so hopeless . . .

Or felt, rather. I’m coming out of it now.

Melodramatic of me, isn’t it ? Depression . . .  The “Common Cold of Mental Illness” ? . . .

I’d hate to experience anything worse.

The “Dark Tsunami of Depression”, more like. It sneaks up on you so fast; you’re feeling fine and the world is your oyster . . . 15 minutes later — literally — you’re afraid you won’t die . . .

Some of you, gentle readers, may remember the scenes of the tsunami hitting Japan . . . That one I gather was only 25 — 30 feet… imagine a 200 — 300 foot Mega-tsunami, the kind we’d get with a cometary impact or massive volcanic eruption.

That’s what depression can be like.

*   *   *

“It reminds me of Númenor”, said Faramir and wondered to hear himself speak.

“Of Númenor?” asked Eowyn.

“Yes”, said Faramir, “of the land of Westernesse that foundered, and of the great dark wave climbing over the green lands and above the hills, and coming on, darkness unescapable. I often dream of it.”

To misquote Shakespeare: “For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come ?”

You don’t want to go there.

*   *   *

Versus CS Lewis quoting Screwtape with:

“Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method — by making him a kind of Childe Harold or Young Werther submerged in self-pity for imaginary distresses — you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because of course, five minutes genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense that they were and unmask your whole strategem.”

Evidently our Jacksie thought this was just so much self-indulgent rubbish . . . Obviously Prof. Lewis had never been suicidal . ..  At least not up till writing The Screwtape Letters . . .

I have.

Give me the toothache. At least there’s 222’s with codeine to take, until you can get to the dentist. When the Dark Companion comes to visit, all you can do, frequently, is wait for her to leave, hopefully without incident.

And, the trouble is, when she has left, you appreciate, that Jack was right . . .

*   *   *

Maybe it was reading Reinhard Heydrich’s biography, which I’ve not finished yet but may have to put down, because it’s so horrible . . . This dry, academic account of the progress of an Incarnate Demon . . . How else could you describe a man justly called “the worst Nazi that ever lived”? More on Herr Heydrich shortly . . . Maybe it’s the feeling the last 5 years of effort have gotten me nowhere. Maybe it was the “realization” what I’ve been trying to do to over the last 6 months to fix it ain’t workin’ . . . Maybe it was the sensation of abject disgust after having given up banging my head against a wall with “Plenty of Phreaks” . . .

Maybe it was something else . . . Who knows?

All I know I had a lovely evening with Ariadne.. We kissed good-night, she sent an “e” saying “Let’s do breakfast tomorrow!”

And tomorrow came.. And tomorrow went. I didn’t answer her e-mail, we didn’t have breakfast that morning. It was 4:30 that afternoon before I was able to force myself off my bed to do something, anything, constructive.

And the liklihood’s better than even, I rather suspect, that movie was the last time I’ll have Ariadne’s company.

One of the few good things 53 years’ sojourn on this miserable little planet has given me is that — in the depths of Despair — the knowledge that my Dark Companion, eventually, will leave me again. But unlike Ariadne and likely a host of others, she will come back.

Edward Munch — By the Deathbed


Posted July 19, 2012 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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