It is a dark shadow that stands atop some of us. Come rain or shine, light or dark, day or night, it is always there. It is a haunting reminder of the clouds that can suffocate our minds. I wonder if that is why my subconscious picked a dark cloud, or mist, for my first novella. A misty haze of badness that can’t be stopped; that can only be lived with. It was, of course, defeated in the end. In real life, though, no magic can dispel this darkness. Like those in cartoons, the cloud that follows forever raining down misery upon its victim. We can, and do, treat it with an umbrella of sorts. Popping the pills, one after the other, into our mouths, they lift that brolly above our heads. The cloud is still there, but for a time, we don’t notice the miserydrops.
It is hard to imagine the drops of misery for those who have not felt it. This is not just a, oh boo hoo hoo, pull yourself together, sadness. This is waking in the morning, and your first thought is, why. This is crawling into bed mid-afternoon, rolling yourself up in a foetal position and just wanting the day to be over. It’s a vampiric illness that sucks the enjoyment and fun from anything you have ever taken pleasure in. It continuously grinds away at your very being until all that is left is a core of despair. You pull and push it to one side, hoping to escape its grasp, but you know it is futile in the end. You know that there is no escape from the black dog.
It is called the black dog; only it is not that. It is a battalion of the bastards, each its own emotion or feeling, running you down at any moment. They claw and rip at your mental wellbeing. They are chasing you night and day. They can sense the weakness; they smell the feebleness of our existence. This is no hellhound style deal; you are infected forever once these have tasted your blood. Ten years it ain’t. There isn’t a way out of this deal; you are not going back once signed. This is the crazy train, baby, and we are all aboard.
It is the tappety tap of a train moving along the tracks. This-is-your-life. I-hate-this-life. Why-can’t-it-end. The endless rattling of thoughts inside an already overflowing mind. Your journey on the train of craziness, and you want to forget the bad, but you only forget the mundane. You lean from the carriage doorway and feel the winds of forgetfulness. You urge them to blow the nasty away, but they take the shopping list. They snatch the person you said you’d call. They wrestle the email you need to send from your mind. You beg and plead, take the bad feelings and leave the rest, but as the wind goes, you slump to the floor and realise it is just you, the carriage, and your thoughts. Your thoughts and your life.
It is life. That fleeting moment of mortality that exists between birth and death. Those moments that we are supposed to treasure. The times that we hold on to and keep close. You are not alone; remember that. Reach out, do it anonymously if needed. Speak to someone, talk with someone, listen to someone.
It is understanding.
It is listening.
It is talking.
It is Life.