The Seasons of Depression

The seasons of depression

An old cherry tree sits just outside my bedroom window. For several seasons I’ve watched it blossom to life—ripening with evergreen and fruit. I’ve also witnessed that life slowly drifting away in the cool autumn breeze. As the branches empty one by one, I sit and gaze without expression.

Each leaf that falls reminds me of a ten-year-old girl buried deep in a closet, hiding behind bags of old clothes. Ashamed of the tears, she desperately tries to hide her sorrow from the world. A tattered Mickey Mouse muffles her sobs.

She’d soon grow into a rebellious teen, a soul standing on the edge contemplating the short distance between life and death. Inside a little miracle grows. It’s a flutter of hope that halts that final step. Yet sadness still consumes her.

This is depression—a demon that has followed me into adulthood, slipping past the walls I’ve built. It’s a vicious predator that forces its way into the essence of who I am, rendering me a troubled stranger. In times of weakness, it defeats me. My vulnerable armor defenseless against its will.

Unlike the cherry tree, the seasons of depression are unpredictable. A familiar song. A harsh rejection. What awakens the demon waiting beneath the surface is erratic and unknown. There is, however, certainty. When it emerges, I lose myself… lingering dreadfully between hope and desperation. No amount of laughter or the presence of blue skies can “fix” what breaks inside of me. And I am broken when I enter this state of mind.

Depression is an ominous existence filled with darkness. I imagine a single, fragile rope outstretched across a bottomless, shroud-covered ravine. I’m suspended, too far from either side to see with clarity. Only once have I ever felt completely and irrefutably hopeless. Thankfully, I pulled back before despair consumed me. Some are not so lucky.

What causes one to forge on and others to let go is a reality I’ll never understand. And I’ve battled this demon for more than forty years. I’m united with countless victims in the black halls of desolation, fearful of never knowing and what lies ahead.

The demon chases no one in particular.

Robin Williams.

Heath Ledger.

A stranger on a bus.

The neighbor next door.

Me.

This is depression.

Looking through the window, I can’t help but notice a subtle yellow hue. For the cherry tree, it’s time for a new season. For me, I’m desperate for this one to pass.

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Used with permission: Natalia Crow Poetry

Posted on by Crystal in Confessions of an Older Mom

10 Responses to The Seasons of Depression

  1. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

    Beautiful, Crystal! I did not know you struggled with this, but your description is poignant and vivid.
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Inside My Closet {#TuesdayTen Linkup}My Profile

  2. Ladyisms

    We have a lot in common I just wish I could write as beautifully as you.
    Ladyisms recently posted..In Honor of Robin WilliamsMy Profile

  3. Lisa R. Petty

    I have never met you, but I just absolutely love and admire you. I suffer from anxiety, and battled depression during my divorce. I’m working on something about that, too. Hugs!
    Keep hanging on. This demon is a part of being a creative person, I think.
    Lisa R. Petty recently posted..Mean Kitty Murderer — By SophieMy Profile

  4. Drama Queen's Momma

    Hauntingly beautiful. I am glad you are facing your closet demons by letting them out in the form of writing. I have suffered from depression too. It’s more common than people think. And well hidden in most.
    Drama Queen’s Momma recently posted..VBS to the Rescue!My Profile

  5. Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense

    You put into words beautifully. Thanks for sharing. xoxo
    Kristen Mae of Abandoning Pretense recently posted..Top 10 Reasons I’m NOT Ready for Back to SchoolMy Profile

  6. WriterMom Angela

    You, my dear sweet friend, are a gifted and talented writer and this post is all the proof that you should ever need of that fact. I know so many of us–women, moms, writers–who have battled this inner demon. You describe it as hanging from a rope, I describe it as being underwater unable to breach the surface. My lungs were burning, I couldn’t get enough air into my lungs to breathe let alone to cry for help. It is terrifying, it is exhausting, and sometimes it feels like it’s always lurking just behind you ready to pounce again.
    WriterMom Angela recently posted..Getting a Diagnosis for my Son has Made me a Better ParentMy Profile

  7. Chris Carter

    Oh Crystal… this was so powerful. Eerily haunting and clearly daunting. I will share this, because I know so many souls who battle this beast. Your words are such a perfect reflection of this agonizing existence.

    Thank you friend, for sharing such a private and profound piece of who you are.
    Chris Carter recently posted..Middle School: The Devil’s PlaygroundMy Profile

  8. Parri (Her Royal Thighness)

    Beautiful words. You sum up everything I, too, have felt since childhood … with such poetry and passion. What a wonderful, heartfelt post. Thank you for helping people understand.

  9. Sayid Mansour

    Beautiful post. Depression really is a serious matter.
    Sayid Mansour recently posted..hockeytrainingpro.com – Goalie Workout ClubMy Profile

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