HELP IS OTHER PEOPLE

 

The day began, as many do, with a sense of dread and despair.

Hello darkness, my old friend.

You’ve come to weigh on me again.

The old friend arrives unannounced.

Without a cause.

Without a motive.

Without a warrant.

He just lets himself in.

But he’s only following orders.

And his boss is my DNA.

Here’s where you start to pity me.

Please don’t.

I indulge in enough self-pity.

It’s overkill. And unnecessary.

I’m not unique or special.

I just get stuck in the ditch of despair.

Clinging to covers like a child to a blanky.

And from there, it’s a waiting game.

The thing about depression is that I know how to snap out of it.

I just choose not to.

Well. It chooses for me.

Peloton? Tomorrow.

Talk to someone? Yuck.

Get up and out and hop about?

I’ll take uncomfortably numb instead.

That’s what it does.

It freezes momentum with a soft paralysis that seems gentle and sharp at the same time. It feels good to feel miserable.

 

And, then, my mom called.

Catalysts of hope rarely begin like that.

But this one did.

She asked me to talk to someone struggling.

Two things I tend to avoid.

Talking to others and appeasing my mother.

I did both.

The woman was suffering.

Fear. Instability. Chaos.

Things were spinning and she was in pain.

I offered no cure or solution.

Just my experience and my honesty.

And a willingness to listen.

I left her home and I felt better.

Not euphoric. Not even happy.

But slightly less depressed.

Something shifted.

It always does when I get out of myself.

When I forget about my problems and make space for another’s.

That’s when I thought of Sartre’s line.

“Hell is other people.”

I couldn’t disagree more.

Hell is myself.

The way out is other people.