You’ll have to excuse me for this post, as it’s written on two hours of sleep, and inspired by lonely 3 A.M. thoughts. I say that not to discredit what goes through my head, but rather to make it clear that this may seem far less refined, and far more redundant than the things I usually write.
I used to think of my depression as a hole that had formed inside of me. A physical representation of my sadness that had quite literally started consuming my life. My hole spoke to me, whispering endlessly that if I filled it with my life a bit more it would finally be satisfied. Despite my better judgement I started listening to that hole. I did not sleep until it asked for rest, eat until it said it was hungry, and socialize until it expressed loneliness. I kept feeding that hole, giving it everything it asked, until it finally asked for me, and without a second thought, I dived in.
I spent an entire night in that hole, surrounded by all the misery I had filled it with, and stopped seeing it as a separate entity that had newly formed, and more as something that had always been there. What’s more, that night the hole didn’t seem malicious or all-consuming, and the voice it held spoke with no malice, but rather concern for my well-being. The hole was really just a reflection of myself, and the voice inside was my own, just trying to keep me going.
The more I examined my hole, and the voice that resided inside the fonder I grew of it. Where as before I thought that those with mental illness were the only ones with holes, I started to become open to the thought that maybe a helpful hole was something everyone had. What if we all had a voice reminding us to try to fill those empty spaces in ourselves? A voice that sought companionship, love, and acceptance in a world where those things are so hard to come by. A voice that prompted us to look inward and really notice that we have needs that we often leave unfulfilled. It was odd, as I considered these possibilities I stopped seeing that all-consuming entity inside me as a hole. Gone was the image of a dark abyss housing my worst thoughts, and in its place I pictured a simple flower.
It seemed like the perfect personification of oneself. Instead of holes that people unconsciously attempted to fill I started imagining we all had flowers, as unique as the people who housed them, growing inside us all. Like people themselves these flowers were fragile, yet surprisingly resilient, heavily influenced by their surroundings, and often in need of a great deal of care to thrive.
I’ve gotten a bit obsessed with idea. The thought of flowers that grow and develop to reflect the lives and characteristics of the individuals they grow inside fascinates me. I’ve started trying to capture that image in my writing, but still haven’t been able to perfectly capture how people’s flowers look to me. I simply grow too excited about the thought, and lose all sense of direction when I write about it. Thoughts and ideas flow freely in a maelstrom of imagery that does little to help understand others what goes through my head when I look at them. I think I get so excited about the idea because instead of picturing a dark abyss that maliciously whispering to us all, I now have the image of a wide array of flora growing inside each and every one of us.
I just realized I’ve started to ramble a bit, and in an attempt to give this some cohesion I think it would be best to end this with a dream I had about this idea. In the dream, I found myself floating in an all white space. It was warm, like laying in a pile of freshly dried sheets, and would have been a peaceful space had I not had the knowledge that I was dead. Now, usually at this point in my dreams I awake in a panic, often forgetting how to breathe, but this time I simply blinked and found myself sitting atop a lonely mountain, still very much dead, but oddly at peace. There was nothing for miles, my only company the lazily drifting clouds that brushed along the peak I resided on. It was breathtaking. As I took in my surroundings I once again blinked, and found myself rooted to the mountaintop. I had begun to physically grow into the landscape I had found myself in, and before long I had become a lonely flower blowing lazily with the clouds upon that mountain. Before I could fully grasp what I had become I woke up, and immediately started to cry.