Depression: The Only Way Out Is Through

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THERE IS A DOOR.

Gargoyles and gorgons and gremlins stand guard.

The firm hand of trauma or brain chemistry or genetics shoves you through.

The door slams behind you with a deafening clang.

WELCOME

TO

HELL.

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH.

Gnarled, withered trees and weather-beaten rock formations greet you. Your own psyche, eroded and embittered and erased.

Your memories after centuries of acid rain.

You, you.

Everywhere you look is you.

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH.

Step.

Step.

Step.

Dead dessicated branches.

Now the slurp-slurp-slurp of a fetid bog.

Sink.

Strain.

        Scream.

Pull yourself out.

Keep going.

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH.

Trip.

Snap.

 Pain.

Crawlcrawlcrawl. Don’t you DARE stop.

  Crawl.

Scream.

Bleed.

Razor-sharp rocks rend you open, cutting through skin and tendons and bones and fantasies and illusions and the entire protective carapace encrusted around you over a lifetime, made up of trite TV talk and other people’s dreams and anything and everything that you were not, no, never you, always others, barnacles growing on your soul, broadcasting their own truth while yours sits in gaol, weeping.

Cut and scrape open until this carapace of artifice no longer suffices, no longer satisfies.

See and hear and feel your scaffolding crumble around you.

Crawl. Crawl. Crawl.

THE ONLY WAY OUT IS THROUGH.

Ahead: a hulking, merciless slab of stone, stretching beyond sight.

No. NO.

I crawled so far and scraped myself to shreds for THIS?!

Wail.

Shriek.

 Rage.

Pound the wall with your shredded stumps until it’s smeared with blood.

Collapse in a heap as you water the barren soil of self-pity with tears of blood.

With the last of your strength, look up.

The blood smear on the wall is a face.

Your face

 but

 not

 YOUR

  face.

The eyes, the ears, the hideous grin, each horrid brushstroke painted by a doppelganger’s arm.

Horror.

Anger.

Realization.

YOU ARE A CONSTRUCT.

A portrait painted by the people around you.

Other people’s intentions and neuroses and desires encrusted around your soul until your armor became you.

Now, the armor lays strewn about on the battlefield through which your broken, battered carcass crawled.

Realization.

YOU WERE A CONSTRUCT.

What are you now?

NO!

Don’t say it to me.

It’s not my place to know.

Tell your truth to hold its tongue.

Here, at this dead end, your ego decayed and dissolved and your soul naked and raw and free at last…WHISPER YOUR TRUE NAME.

As curtains pulled apart by a gentle hand, the wall moves aside.

At last…you are you again.

Welcome to life.

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