[ Essay ] D is for DamnIAmStuckWithYouButThatsOK

This is a summary of an email message I exchanged with a dear friend when I was struggling with depression a while ago.


The latest D incident has finally woken me up to the fact that Mr. D will never leave at my request. He just sits there until he gets bored (= I give up fighting and just lay down).
Mr. D is still there, right now, at my side. I decided to do what I do with or without his presence or consent. Just like he can control his naughty behavior, I have full control over mine.

Life is not an American Idol performance where you get up on the stage only on the best condition (and still get criticized). It is more like swimming in the middle of the ocean. There is actually no one measuring your performance and giving you grades. And no one can take your place and swim instead. It is just endless and eventless. You have to constantly fight the urge to look down into the bottomless darkness that sucks you in. Sometimes you just want to be as cynical as you can and give up everything, because regardless of what you do, the current always seem to take you to another place.

But if you look up you can see the beautiful sky or the stars. If you look ahead you see the horizon, where the sun comes up every day. If you look around you can see people you care about, all swimming his or her own life. Most of them have their own directions. But you may exchange a brief encounter with them with joy, because it is already a miracle that you two have crossed each other’s path in this vast ocean. And occasionally, you have someone who happens to be swimming in the same direction. Better yet, you may have someone who can swim with you side by side.

So I woke up, spent one hour writing until I got tired of shouldering Mr. D, slept again, got to my workplace. Mr. D is always sitting on my shoulder, slowing me down dramatically. But I am swimming, and looks like Mr. D is decent enough to at least stop whispering into my ears. We may never be able to build a great relationship, but I think we are at least on okay terms.


After writing the above, I started walking on the road back to reality, where everything works but nothing works (according to my term). Perhaps my depression was an attempt to escape into a fantasy world where I could control the result. I am so glad I couldn’t.