Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Flowers for Algernon-ing

Depression sucks. Obvi.

But it's a double edged sword. I've always created out of that dark space in my gut. It oozes until it pours over with twisted ideas and overflowing analogies. I run my hand along places my fingertips wouldn't have dreamt to poke and allow the splinters to do their thing.

My depression, my pain, my self loathing-- we are fast, toxic, friends.

When I'm depressed, I operate like a drug addict, trying to fill the spaces between self loathing and hatred with euphoria. Yes, the lows are low, but when I find that sweet spot it makes it feel worth it. I push the plunger and know there's no place I'd rather be. I feel fulfilled. My soul feels purged. I can get the demon out of me and silent for a while. I'm on a creative high.

But back to reality. I'm off my Prozac for a sleep study and all the circuits in my brain are ablaze. The highs, the lows, but most importantly, the passion. I'm feeling those feelings, clinging like an old lover to each moment. Grabbing my pencils feverishly. Planning ambitious projects. Attempting, as I do each time I'm back here, to change the world with my darkness. I tidy up my cesspool and find a way to make it habitable, and then I don't want to come back out. I'm comfortable here. I've made myself at home again.

I'm afraid of going back on my meds. I don't want to lose my creativity, my self expression, my freedom, again. But I'm afraid of not going back on my meds. The darkness grows tall while I'm looking the other way and when it tackles and overpowers me, I start to doubt that I'm going to win.

After tomorrow, I officially restart my dosage, so I feel like I only have today and tomorrow to feel everything I can. I'm Flowers for Algernon-ing. 

I can't lose this part of myself again. I can't lose this piece that makes me fall in love with my own thoughts and spend my days awaft in daydream. I don't want to leave my dark home.

Except, I know I have to. Staying means becoming manic, dumping my day upside down and spending my sleeping hours awake and my waking hours asleep. I'll end up, pencil in my mouth, tits deep in a sketchbook for nights at a time and have my kids to school late. I won't clean the house or do laundry, instead, pushing those things off on my husband and creating resentments. I will spend all my energy entwined in my own internal world, where it's sad, but breathtakingly beautiful. My madness will grow until it swallows us all whole and my children and my marriage suffer. We will all go down with my rapidly sinking ship and their only flaw will have been loving me. I can't do that to them.

I understand now why artists and writers often have issues with mental illness. In order for your art to be raw and passionate, for people like me, you have to allow yourself to be. Art imitates life, indeed.

And so, the countdown is on...


  1. This just made me cry! I, too, am somewhat stifled by my needs and didn't realize it until now. I weaned myself off of them recently and for the last month, have felt more like myself, however, I don't get anything done that NEEDS to be done. I haven't found myself "depressed" as of yet (though I know it will come), but my pain is off the chain some days. I debate going back on them, but I'm pushing through the pain for now to see if it gets better and then maybe I can be a little more myself again. The struggle is definitely real. <3

  2. Love you Nikki. If you start feeling yourself drifting, call me, text me, message me, anything. I'm here. <3