The Darkness Within Me

I found this old picture in an article about new ways we treat different depression in people and how it takes so many forms & effects so many of us.

They went on to talk about situational depression, environmental depression, chemical depression – it just went on. By reading this article you would think that the whole world is depressed. Is it possible that it’s contagious but we don’t realise ?

The photo of the original ‘Depressed Man’, first appeared at the time when depression was beginning to be diagnosed more often and as something very real and extremely serious. The link to suicide was made very early as was alcoholism, violence & addiction.

Something about that picture touched me. I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I felt great sorrow for him. I wished I could put my hand on his shoulder & ask is he ok and that if he needed a friend, I could be that friend.

For a while, I found myself thinking about him. It saddened me about how he was feeling. More than that, i somehow knew i was feeling the very same thing. It was the loneliest feeling in the world.

Did I identify with him because that was how I so often felt? Or was there something bigger happening ? It remains a mystery but still chills me to think about it.

For a time, a had this connection to a man from another time, almost probably another place and definitely not even real. It was a picture of a drawing. But so very real to me it unnerves me even now to think about this and what happened.

I find myself on the verge of tears alot of the time. A song, a movie, a photo or even a memory would bring tears to my eyes, regardless of where i was.

I often had my sunglasses to thank for covering up the overflow of pain in front of my kids. I think i hid it ok but i also think maybe my kids saw & pretended they didn’t. The exact same thing I would of done 40 odd years ago myself.

Through my choices and my work being all night, I found myself alone most of the time. I still do.

One night I was in a exhausted half sleep dream state that’s hard to describe. I wasn’t awake but I was seemingly conscious of what was happening around me. And that’s when i heard it for the first time.

I heard the man in the picture cry. I felt him cry. And I cried too. I mean, I really cried. Not at any moment questioning what had just occurred.

I cried for my old self that I had lost. I cried for who I am now, who was just as lost. I cried for what is and i cried for what isn’t. I cried for the untold losses, the guilt that was eating me away. I cried for the younger me and how much I would of disappointed him.


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