Mental Health Matters
by Bert Rock
Depression is a sinkhole, a toothache in my heart, it is an escalator that only goes down. It does not matter how well life is going, or how many wonderful and loving friends you have. It does not care, it will make you feel alone in a crowded room, alone next to someone you love. It’s a cage of iron that keeps love and light out. Depression can make darkness out of light. Sometimes it feels like there’s a creature somewhere in my body, gnawing at my gut and filling me with holes. I feel it in my core. I double up, lie in the fetal position because it feels like I am eroding from the inside. Suicide is not a goal. It is a door. One nobody wants to walk through. But sometimes, even the thought of it can be a release. That’s how twisted and fucked up depression is, that it makes the thought of ending one’s life seem like a salve for a wound you cannot bandage. Stay alive. I don’t want to die. I want to live. I want to love those I love. I want to love someone new and feel soft hair on my cheek. I want to be there when the people I love grow, succeed, fail, and fall. I want to be there for everything because I love them so much. Why do I have such a hard time being there for myself? Because somewhere deep inside there is still an 8-year-old boy cutting himself with a pair of orange handled scissors. There’s a 16-year-old who sits and watches the same movie again and again while smoking cigarettes for an entire summer. A 12-year-old stares through walls, a 6-year-old sees himself from the ceiling, a 37-year-old carries a razor blade in his wallet, and none of them can see life lasting one more year. None of them could have ever imagined the 50-year-old writing this.