I think of depression like grief… It’s sticky. It’s that annoying sticky stuff that gets left over when you peel off a sticker and you need to rub a couple of times to get the last of it off… and even then it is just sometimes… there.
It finds its way to cling to the underside of your daily routine, always there, always… sticking. And more often than not the days and weeks will pass like in a monotonous blur and nothing much happens. All the while depression will just sit there quietly. And then one day you find yourself waking up in a cold sweat crying because you’ve fallen down an effortless spiral; without warning, without much choice. There it is dragging down and there it lies like thick black sludge.
And then it’s Tuesday again and all of that stickiness seems to have washed away overnight and I’m walking down the street again and it seems like the rain just washed my feelings down the drain so effortlessly. And as I watch all these wonderfully content people pass you by, I think to myself “I could have done that.” But then again, I didn’t.
Unmade Bed by Joe Gerhard – Dishevelled Bedroom Series
I wrote about how to fall in love. Did you follow my steps precisely? Did you fall in love? More importantly… did you stay in love?
Fall in love slowly, deeply or casually but make sure you fall in love. Fall blindly and stay there. Make each other packed lunches with post it notes. Stare furiously into each other’s eyes and try to unlock that deep dark soul of theirs or stare blankly into their open heart. Make love, not war. Whisper sweet nothings in each other’s ears. Stay up all night and tell each other secrets. Don’t tell each other everything. Don’t plan your wedding but plan a life. Share a life together and talk about all those long road trips you’ll never take because you spent too long at work and got stuck on the tube on your way out of London. Walk hand in hand and curl those fingers tightly like they might just slip away if you let go. Say I love you; whisper it, sing it, shout it from the rooftops but don’t forget to say it. When they say they’re there for you, believe them. Close your eyes and say their name. Everything else should be white noise. Spend all morning in bed. Spend all afternoon in bed too. You won’t always get to. Never go to bed angry, and if you do, wake up and kiss them, make it the first thing you do. Listen to everything they say, because one day they might not say it anymore. Watch horror stories and build forts. Laugh, cry and work out together. Never say “it’s nothing”, because it never was. Eat pizzas and make plans together. Make love. Make time.
The days were thick and heavy and August ran through our hearts like a bull in a china shop. The heat always did something to us, kept us hopeful enough with its long days and exciting promises, but at the same time, filled us with a depression at the thought that our adventures would soon evaporate and we would go back to reciting a dismal elegy about everyday life. Summer has always held the promise of adventure and a time to create such exploits that would burn in our minds forever. And yet more often than not, come September, I would find myself filled with a new sense of loathing that my summer adventures were never quite as golden as they had once seemed to be.
This year a dense haze had settled over London and our lives and we filled our days with the vacuous and banal activities of the youth of London; drinking, fucking and going to pop-up restaurants and I wondered to myself whether these were supposed to be the golden years, and if so, whether I had rotted them away with such clichéd escapades.
Five years ago I had fallen in love with a man whose skin was soft to the touch and who wore an intoxicating scent of marjoram in the summer that reminded me of Mexico and days spent in Valencia. We had enjoyed a whirlwind romance that gripped our souls like a fatal ague; toxicity entered our bodies and clutched onto us and would not let us go. We were absolutely desperate to disconnect ourselves from reality, to disengage and disappear and fall into each other’s selves. Such is the fatality of young love.
Over the years as we tore each other apart, I began to live for the respite of slumber, for in those precious few moments before I collapsed into a deep state of unconsciousness, I got to be with him again. My lucid state would lull me into his arms and an effortless smile would supplant itself upon my lips as I curled up into him; tracing my fingertips along the far too familiar curve of his back to his shoulders and arms that gripped me tight throughout the night until morning came once again. And with it the cold and grim reality, it was all but a dream.
It was a Thursday when we found our way to the South Bank, sat underneath the watchful gaze of the London Eye and basked in each other’s glow and decided to say goodbye. And like no time had passed, five years had come and gone and we were here in the same place we had been all those years ago, dreaming up the same stories we had before. The thing is, we kept dreaming and dreaming of this life together. Then one day we woke up and had dreamt our whole lives away. We had grown up and grown apart and even the thick stench of love in the air couldn’t bring us back together.