Smoke and Shadows

Chronic depression is a state hard to explain to those who have not experienced it first-hand. Even your nearest and dearest, your loyal support system, remains in the dark much of the time, innocent victims of your inability to articulate your situation.

Chronic depression is insubstantial — there’s nothing much there to sink your teeth into. My depression tends to ebb and flow. In bad times, it is like a thick smoke that surrounds me. It wraps around me, obscuring vision, hearing and smell. It suffocates anyone in the vicinity. It blots out all thought except the one, “I am here because I can’t escape. Why am I alive? There is no hope for me.”


In good times, the times that I wait for, long for, and work towards — in those times, my depression is like a shadow. At my feet, harmless but inescapable. How do you hope to escape from your own shadow?

I’ve had more than twenty years of experience dealing with this now. Many a time have I thought, “I’ve done it! I’m free! I’m cured!” But like a ghastly phoenix, my depression rises from its own ashes and surrounds me again. Like a snake lying in wait, it raises its hood and strikes in deathly silence. And like a lover whose trust has been shattered one time too many, I have stopped hoping.

There is no cure, there is no escape in this lifetime. Instead, there are masks, and crutches, and routines, and some day, I hope, acceptance.

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7 Responses to Smoke and Shadows

  1. Mahira Kakkar says:

    Good post- looking forward to reading more.


  2. nive says:

    I live with depression that comes and goes, too. I am so tired of it. I like it when you say it is a shadow at your feet in your happier moments. Thats very relatable. What is most annoying to me about this is my inability to protect those that are really close to me from discovering my pain, and thus be pained by it. So hard to explain, its not their fault and there’s nothing they can do. I have accepted. Now I struggle with developing skills to internally cope with it better.


    • Mimi G. says:

      Nive, thank you so much for opening up about this here. I so agree, it is truly hard for me to not be able to protect those who are closest to me from discovering my pain. How did you come to acceptance?


  3. Pingback: Meningioma – The Diagnosis | Cheer Up!

  4. kathaykathay says:

    All I can say is that when you need people, we are there….. On a different note, the shadow at your feet reminded me very strongly of a different shadow – a slave that loves its master, and follows him like a shadow. We are talking about spirits and magicians here – if you have not read the Bartimaeus series yet, do get going!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alicejoy says:

    This is beautifully written. I love your expressiveness. I also like you intertwine pictures and words. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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