Sometimes, it’s the weather; too much hot weather, too much humidity, too much rain, too much cold.
Sometimes, it’s something that has happened (or hasn’t happened), or even a situation.
And sometimes, it’s something that someone has said about me—personally (for some reason, things people say about me professionally tend to not bother me).
“It” is my darkness. I guess the clinical term is depression and anxiety. I just call it my darkness because, to me, that’s what it is. Darkness. An enveloping darkness that gathers around me, surrounds me.
Sometimes, I wear the darkness like a long, comfortable coat. It becomes a place in which I feel security. It is safe. It is kevlar. In darkness, no one can touch me. No one can damage me…because I have been damaged already.
I am a creative. I was a musician from age seven until I was roughly eighteen; a radio personality from my early twenties through early thirties; an advertising Copywriter, Creative Director, and Brand Strategist from my early thirties through early fifties. Now, I’m a radio and tv personality…and, apparently, a writer/blogger.
I have always been prone to travel in darkness. I have a dark sense of humour and like dark music, literature, films. To travel in darkness is a solitary journey. And a journey, sometimes—-most times—taken in disguise. I function in a world where I must be outgoing, happy, self-confident…even when my natural place is exactly the polar opposite. I smile for the cameras, laugh at the jokes, and move freely with my shoulders back and my chin up. Sometimes that is me. But there are times where all of that is merely my disguise; you’ll never know when that’s really me. You’ll never know the times that I’m scared, sad, terrified of the camera and microphone, and just want to be alone with my music and words instead of with people, doing my best to blend in.
The thing of it is…I’m not alone. There are thousands of us…millions of us. Each one of us travelling in darkness, like the Pink Floyd song says, in “Time” on Dark Side Of The Moon, “living lives of quiet desperation,” and, as Thoreau said, “A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind.”
Make no mistake, mine is not a darkness of harming myself or others. Mine is a darkness of survival; understanding that it is my yin and yang, the consciousness of my duality. I need my darkness in order to understand the slivers of light. From darkness can come great thoughts and creativity.
Don’t pity me my darkness, nor the darkness of others—concealed, or worn proudly—because this is where, sometimes, we need to be. It’s where I need to be and, more often than not, the only place I know how to be.
**please note, this is my experience with depression and anxiety. I’ve learned how to function with these. Not everyone is the same. If you’re having a hard time coping with depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness—or think you could be of harm to yourself or others—contact a health professional immediately.