Limp. Swaying from the rafter that supported his mud and straw-thatched roof.
He could hear the cord stretch and groan from his weight as his eyes became heavy.
Back and forth.
His eyes began to close as the cord tightened and choked off his life wind. Choking his hope. His will to live. His resilience.
He hadn’t the will to raise his arms and save himself. He could have he supposed. But he refused. He felt a calming peace blanketing him as his life energy fell through the soles of his feet, leaving his body forever.
Finally he would be free of this torment.
Finally he would have peace.
Peace from this Wahrlog of the Darkness.
The Darkness. A darkness so consuming, so debilitating, that each day was a struggle. A struggle to rise each morning. A struggle to tend to his fields. A struggle to continue life. A life coated with apathy.
He had hid it well from his fellow villagers. Masked it behind his toiling in the fields. Masked it behind his inward solitude. Disguised it with the will to be alone. To remain undiscovered and unbranded with the Stigma.
He knew others who had been discovered. Who had been branded on their forehead with the seal of their affliction – their illness. He remembered seeing the searing iron hissing as it sunk into their flesh. Leaving a soft cloud of smoke as it pushed deeper into them.
And their screams.
They were forever labeled in society by those they knew. Those they loved. Those they had children with. Their families. Their neighbors.
Some, like himself, afflicted with the darkness – the deep, dark, debilitating depression he knew since he was a child.
Others, afflicted with the fear – remnants of some past traumatic stressing life event that had ripped their soul in half, and forced them to relive their past horrors. Manifest in the forms of flashbacks and tortured by the night harpies of terror. He could hear their screams at night.
In the darkness.
Others, afflicted with the rage – elevated, hyper levels of anxiousness brought on by some outside trigger. Issuing in a brain pandemonium of paranoia and irritability. Lashing out at those whom they held closest as they wandered through their personal fog of war.
Through his closing vision, Catharsis could faintly make out the Specter emerging from the darkness. Moving closer. Stretching his pale white claws from his cloak, his talons scratching the walls of Catharsis’ mud home. Digging into the hardened clay and leaving deep cuts as chunks of adobe were ripped away. In and out of his slumber, Catharsis thought how they resembled his fields that he had just returned from. Their perfect rows whose cast shadows aligned harmoniously in the setting sun.
This was his last thought of peacefulness as Catharsis’ eyes closed.
And Specter’s grip closed around his throat.
* * *
At the instant the beast secured his grip to claim his prize, a magnificent burst of white light flooded the room.
Specter shrieked like a hung pig being bled dry and lurched back from the blazon firestorm that enshrouded the hanging body.
Two forms took their place next to the body of Catharsis. On either side, like stark angelic sentries sent to protect him from the Wahrlog. They raised their hands and in a fluid motion brought them down, lances appearing and striking the mud floor.
Specter hissed and the sentries lowered their weapons, tips pointed at its open throat.
A sentry stepped forward a crouched in the dirt, bracing itself with its weapon. Slowly and deliberately it scratched a line across the floor, fire following in a steady trail.
It retracted and regained its position.
“Though shall not pass” the two sentries whispered.
Specter lurched through the flame and in one swift movement was impaled on their spears. Instantaneously, Specter disintegrated into the light, taking with him his shadows and his darkness.
* * *
As one sentry held fast the body of Catharsis, the other swiftly swung its lance at the noose, cutting him free.
You are a brave woman, mistaken’. I can only imagine the pain and emptiness of abandonment and the insecurity created from not having closure. I pray for you and the emptiness in your heart because of this story, praying that one day it will be replaced with peace through answers. X
The Art of Manliness has started a short series entitled, “Leashing the Black Dog – A series on Male Depression.” The first post in the series, My Struggle with Depression, was well written and I’m looking forward to the follow-up posts. I think all survivors of depression should give it a read, not just men. You can find it at the link below the image.
May you find peace in whatever valley you are travelling.
We’ve all made friends and acquaintances here. Someone who experiences the same mental conditions you do. Depression. Anxiety. PTSD. Cutting. Suicidal thoughts.
When is the last time you’ve heard from them? Has it been a while? Have they been off the grid?
I challenge you to reach out to them before the day is over and check on them. Send them a friendly note saying you haven’t heard from them and were wondering how they’ve been. Let them know they are special and if comfortable, that you care for them.
I emailed a fellow blogger because I haven’t heard from her in a few days and I was concerned. No posts on her blog. No Likes. No comments. Just blank space. I attributed it to her being busy with her kids, but she’s not like that. She’s a warrior. Like us all. I missed her wise posts of positivity so I just wanted to check.
She responded back. I was happy to hear from her and know that she was ok.
Who do you need to reach out to TONIGHT?
Would you comment back to let us see how many people’s lives are being touched by your acts of kindness?
My friend bkmoore, has a page on her blog that is dedicated to people’s personal stories of suicide. If you have a story, I’m sure she and others would appreciate reading yours.
Here is the text from her page…
“This page is dedicated to bringing suicide out of the darkness and into the light! If you have lost a loved one to suicide, or suffered from depression, this is a chance for us to carry each others’ burdens and share hope. There are no judgments here–I am in the trenches with you. On any given day I struggle with anger, fear, sorrow, and a host of other emotions, as I process through grief.
“But, I also declare the truth over my loss, and open myself to the reality of now being in the category “Survivor of Suicide”. God is not through with my story and I long to be a witness of hope in the midst of sorrow. I will post discussion prompts, polls, and any kind of information that I deem useful on this page. Feel free to join in at any time and share your experiences.”
How do you relate to the people in your life with PTSD?
This post is part of a series of poems dedicated to my girlfriend. She has PTSD and severe anxiety and you will understand her story with each post. Each time I learn something about the mental conditions she lives with, I add a “part” to the series. Please read Part 2 and Part 3 of her story and the lessons she’s taught me.
History becomes Her story-
She’s a beautiful soul, trapped deep in her keep,
In a place she won’t let most inside.
So I’ve entered slowly and cautiously here,
Not breaking the trust she confides.
Her levels and layers, her pain and her hurt
Run as deep as the red in her blood.
And I sit and I listen, to all that she says,
Which comes from her core that is good.
She tells me of rape, of the breaking of bones,
And a tear glistens down over my cheek.
For I’ve known the warrior, the battle hardened victor,
Not imagining her soft soul so meak.
Sometimes she gets up, in the middle of the night
She says that it’s just too hard.
She’ll leave then apologize because she’s flashed back
I’m not angry, I’m honored ’cause she let down a wall.
We tell each other, “You get me.” “You understand who I am”,
And we hold each other tight.
And I’ll hold her and treasure her, ’til peace arrives,
And helps her sleep through the night.
She’s grown on me, and taught me her life,
My mouth hangs open in awe.
For I’m getting her condition, her PTSD
I’m beginning to understand it all.
Do you have suggestions for supporting people with PTSD? Will you share them with us?
Hi there. My name is Chris. I am a survivor of suicide and live with clinical depression. I often mention Specter who is the personification of my depression. Thank you for taking the time to read this post and to be with me on my journey…our journey.
Question: How have you learned to survive through your weekends?
Specter has a cousin and her name is Weekend. This twice removed cousin hasn’t visited for years but I remember the horror just the same. I had just separated in my marriage, was living in a new apartment with just my business clothes, laptop, and a sleeping bag.
The Monday-through-Thursday ramping up of worry.
The Friday night dread of falling asleep and waking up crying on Saturday.
The Saturday morning realization of waking up at 5:00…4:30…4:00…3:00 am with anxiety, loneliness, fear, hurt, and desolation.
Full of gloom.
Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon She stayed ever present. Morning was my crucible; Weekend’s disfigured child that accompanied Her…was attached to Her. Like some 1943ish sinister Siamese twin experiment. I was awake with a cocaine-like charged
pulse hours ahead of the rest of the outside world. Just Weekend. Morning. And Me. Read the rest of this entry »
NOTE: This post discusses my suicide attempt . If this is a trigger for you, please do not read it.
Hello there and thank you for taking the time to read this post. Thank you for having the courage to travel this road with me.
My name is Chris…
I have had long-term clinical depression since about 7th grade…
I am 41 years old…
I attempted suicide on Sunday, September 14, 2015 by hanging myself from my bedroom closet’s doorknob…
I was on the noose for 45 minutes before my friends saved me. I don’t remember anything that happened between the time I passed out and “waking up” in the hospital two days later. Though I was conscious, I was not “coherent”, and my friends have had to help reconstruct events as best they could. But I can’t remember anything for those two days.
From what I have been told…
NOTE TO READERS: This post discusses alcohol and my suicide attempt. If these are triggers please do not continue reading. Thank you.
Thank you for taking your time to read this post. Whether it was curiosity, or you needed to know someone else is going through what you’re surviving through right now., thank you.
Question: What triggers your depression?
I’m learning what my triggers are. Some are common-sense, while others are covert. Here are the factors that I’ve found bring my depression to the surface. The items that cause Specter to inch out of the shadows and latch onto me, dragging me down into the quagmire. Read the rest of this entry »
The Final Chapter
This is the final verse of a four part poem on Specter – the personification of my clinical depression and suicide attempt. Please read parts 1, 2, and 3 as well. This project was the result my friend’s inspiration. Thank you @Harry P. X. Frost @ theunrepentantwanderlust.wordpress.com
If you ride the waves, they will subside.
If you have lost hope, there are others in the same valley. Reach out. Share with them.
If you feel you are alone, there are those who will help. Let them carry you.
Good will prevail my fellow warrior.
Peace be with you as you survive through your valley.
NOTE TO READER: This post mentions suicide. If this is a trigger, please do not read it at this time.
This is what I quickly typed on my computer through a bucket of tears while my daughter was getting ready for her mother to pick her up…
“No Lexapro for 3 days. Weepy and emotional. Swirly headed (from withdrawal?)
“I don’t feel like writing.
“My daughter is in the shower getting ready for her mom to pick her up.
“I’ve been weepy all day…at church…when she got up from the dinner table. Do I talk to her about this? Do I let her know that her dad has a disease? I want her to know that it’s okay. I want her to know that she’s NOT going crazy if she feels like me. I think I remember reading somewhere that scientists believe that clinical depression is hereditary.
“Her mom may try to take her away from me if she thinks I’m not stable. ‘Mom’s House. Dad’s House.'”
NOTE: Other faith-based thoughts can be found under the Faith for Hope dropdown tab on the menu bar.
Weekends are my times of weakness and an open portal for Specter’s attack. I attempted suicide on a Sunday night. You are not alone in your struggles. May this give you strength through your valley and weekend. May you have the strength and courage to reach out this weekend. May the person you reach out to have the courage to travel with you.
Hello friends. I’ve shared this in several comments on folks’ blogs today so I feel it necessary to post and have it delivered to your Inbox. This combination has been SUCH a positive change for me that I need to reshare it with my readers who deal with the same issues as I do.
I listed more specifics of my history below, but the combination here was prescribed after I was hospitalized for attempting suicide, resulting from clinical depression. The combination is 20 MG of Lexapro with 2 MG of Abilify taken once a day. I take them at night so any effects of tiredness at work are minimized.
From what I understand this is a NEWER combination. I was told that the drug representatives have been pushing it as a miracle cure. I will attest to that. Some old school doctors may be skeptic so if you choose to discuss this with them, PLEASE be sure to mention this paragraph and my story to them.
NOTE: This video shows images of suicide. Please do not watch if this is a trigger. This post deals with my personal experience with suicide. Please do not read it if this is a trigger.
On September 14th, 2014 I hanged myself from a doorknob. Specter had crept out of the dark corner of my life, and slashed. This was the song I placed on repeat and turned up as loud as I could while I was slipping away.
Once I was released from the psychiatric unit I watched the video. I saw that there was an inspiring message. If you are able to watch the video in its entirety you will see the same. And that hopeful message is the power of one person’s selfless act of noticing you. Noticing US. My friends, every human being needs to be noticed. Just the act of softly saying to someone, “I saw you sitting here and felt an urge to ask you how you were doing” could potentially give that person the glimmer of hope they may need at that very time. That little two second statement could ensure the rest of their life. Read the rest of this entry »
In his book, Unmasking Male Depression (pp. 38-52), Dr. Archibald D. Hart discusses the 6 causes of depression in males. This particular section of his book validated the way I was feeling. It crystallized things for me and though I didn’t necessarily like the reality of the situation, had suffered from it long enough that the information was a welcome load lifter. I hope they are helpful if you’re a male who was as confused as I was.
1. Testosterone-Induced Depressions. Most prevalent in men with a high sex drive, this type of depression sets in when an established rate of sexual release (orgasm) diminishes (39). When this release isn’t met, males become irritable and aggression rises. Men exhibit behaviors described as “sulking” or “moodiness”. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi folks. Thank you for stopping by for a few moments.
We all have them. That space that offers us a pause button in our push button life movie. A sort of solitude we slip away to from our stormy waters. A retreat from the catacombs of depression. Though our Specter still latches into us, riding us wherever we go, we can still go to this place and feel…“better”?
Hello again! Today’s post is a little off the subject of clinical depression, but I still believe it will be extremely helpful if you’re here reading and are looking for intuitive ways to improve your blogging. Also, as people with depression, we should look for things we enjoy and appreciate in life. The positives. Learning fascinates me and I want to learn about being a better blogger. My inspiration in this area has come from Michael Hyatt’s posts. He is my social media superhero. This writing is based on his post, “How to Blog if You Don’t Have Time” and can be found here – http://michaelhyatt.com/no-time-to-blog.html
Mr. Hyatt has been my inspiration for blogging, branding, and branching out into social media. His posts on productivity are a particular favorite of mine – they are tremendously insightful and practical. I use a lot of the apps he uses (though I am an Androider, sorry Mr. Hyatt) I invite you to visit his site (Intentional Leadership – http://michaelhyatt.com/) and if blogging is a passion of yours, purchase his book, Platform.
With that said, I am not being paid or endorsed by Mr. Hyatt to write this. Aside from holding the author in high esteem, I wanted to write this post for several reasons. I started blogging in January and have completed the Blogging 101 course by WordPress and am finishing up the Blogging 201 course this week. I haven’t written a blog based on someone else’s post so I wanted to test the waters here. Make sure I’m doing it correctly. I also wanted to try to incorporate functionality I hadn’t used in the past – e.g., inserting a block quote and linking back to the original post. Read the rest of this entry »
I do honestly believe…
When I first began thinking of writing about clinical depression, I stopped thinking. I put it to rest. Why would I consider doing what I was considering? What would I do in the face of my family and friends when they found out? I felt so shameful. So inadequate. So inferior. And I felt so alone. Especially as a male. Men aren’t supposed to talk about our feelings. We’re not supposed to cry. Not show weakness. Not show emotion.
This…thing I had, made me do all those things. And it wouldn’t leave. It just lingered there for years. It reared its ugly head more than I could handle. I saw its sinister teeth glistening in the shadows. Its chipped, stiletto nails sliding around the corner and scratching on the walls of my soul.
Later, through years of counseling and medicine, doctors help me put a name to this thing and they called it depression. I’ve come to call it, Specter.
A big step to my living with depression and being haunted by Specter was the realization of what I was going through was real. It was not imagined. I was not a freak or different because I was going through it. I was normal. The Lord just dealt me a hand that was different from other folks in my life. That’s a-whole-‘nother talk which I imagine I’ll address in the future. The biggest help to me was decoding the codex. Once I discovered the following four items, I could live with my depression. Yours may be different my friend. You may have less. You may have more. There’s no standard here. And that’s perfectly fine.