Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Sorting the Seeds (Or Depression: An Analogy)

I’ve talked about this story type before, mainly in the context of shameless self promotion, but lately I’ve been thinking about what a good analogy it is for depression.

(Sometimes you try to write literary analyses, and you end up with angst-prose instead.  Deal with it.)

They give you an ocean and a teaspoon. They make you a lumberjack with a blown-glass ax. And you just feel trapped.

It’s not about saving a princess, this set of impossible tasks. You don’t get anything when you’re done, except for getting to be done, except you’re never done. You try and you try and you never get anywhere.

Some days I feel like Sisyphus, and my entire self is the rock I can’t roll up the hill.

I’m just so tired of being tired.

Imagine this.

You’re sitting on the floor surrounded by birdseed. You have to sort it by type, and you can’t do anything else, can’t even breathe, until it’s done. But all the seeds look the same.

Imagine this.

You’re sitting in a garden with a bowl full of rose seeds, and you have to plant them based on the color of the flowers they will someday produce.

Imagine this.

An ogre tells you to sort six bushels of chaff, and you don’t even know what chaff is. (You don’t even know what a bushel is.)

This is how it feels when your brain betrays you.

There’s some monster living in your head, demanding lonely monotony that never ends. And you want to be the hero but you can’t be till you’re done, and your heart is filled with unlimited chaff.

I am so sick of being trapped inside myself.

And maybe it’s bad because I’m bad, because don’t all the good guys have helpful ant friends?

Or maybe it’s hard because I am the ogre myself,  and also the prince, and possibly the damsel in distress.

So I sort and I sort the stupid seeds, and all I’ve ever wanted is just to be free.

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