Depression Settles at the Bottom

I don’t view depression as waves, at least not for me. My depression feels like white flakes in a snow globe and are activated when something shakes me to my core. I become the center and the space around me becomes my world, a world I cannot see. While blinded I feel my swinging mood aiming for me like a gauntlet and I am the fool that has entered into it blind. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot escape.

It has been 17 years since I found out about my birth mom and my sister. It has been 12 years since I tried to kill myself the first time. It has been 9 years  since I found happiness again. Through those transitions I have relearned my depression. Through those years I have grown to accept it and myself.

People always want to fix things. Fix your smile so it looks just right, fix your attitude so it fits your new smile, and while we are at it let’s fix your past so you can finally move on. Depression? Take these meds, a few more pills. Lay back down on this couch… aren’t you comfortable yet? Tell me about your problems so I can tell you why they aren’t really issues. Let me know all your concerns so I can explain how you created them. Men and women in white coats scribbling your life away in a second. Trying to find the answers when we don’t even know the question.

Depression settles at the bottom. It never goes away. It never “finally leaves.” When happiness slams the door who is the first to notice and peep their head from waiting closet? Who knows just the right words to whisper in your ear so that you question the answers you once had?

Feelings come like a shaking sun and all you can do is stand there in your crystal prison and wait.

Waiting for depression to settle once more.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

44.1

Hoping to Die

There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

44.1

hr

Charter Lakeside

Have you ever wanted to harm yourself son?” the Doctor asked with seemingly true concern in his voice.

I’ve wanted to die for a few years now honestly,” I said back without looking up. I dropped shame from my eyes and felt the pain from my mother as she sat and listened beside me. I had never felt so low.

The physician turned around and began typing on the computer. He made occasional head nods and murmured to himself as he archived my life into their database. How very many keystrokes it took to say I was a “broken man.” I could have told him again in fewer words.

~*~

Charter Lakeside is a mental hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a picturesque building from the outside that hides the pain within.

We pulled our car in front of the building like we were checking into a hotel. A man serving as valet ran out all smiles. It might have been an inviting feel if I didn’t know exactly what this building was.

My mother and I walked into the front office and checked in. The receptionist asked us to sit down and wait as she processed my forms. We sat in a white room that reflected my horror back into my face. I felt trapped even though I was still free. I didn’t feel free.

I began to feel a tightness in my chest. A feeling that this was all wrong and not the way it was supposed to be. My foot began to tap out my heartbeat and my palms began to sweat like I was in a showdown in a poker game. I quickly began to reevaluate my situation.

“Mom,” I said turning to my mother who was pretending this was all normal. “I don’t belong here,” I stammered.

“Do you mean you don’t want to check into this facility Jason?” she asked with a seriousness that I knew meant this was one of those decisions I should think about first.

“I want to go home,” I finally said with a single tear of reinforcement falling down my cheek.

“Let’s go home then,” she said without hesitation.

I loved her for that. Her lack of hesitation and her understanding of the darkness I was currently in. She was willing to let me figure it out in my own way and wasn’t about to force me into a facility I was suddenly sure would kill my spirit and possibly make me want to die even more. My mom explained things to the receptionist and we got up together to leave. I returned home to face my demons another day, but on my terms. On my time and in my own way.

Thank you to the best mother ever. The only mom I know.

img_2231

Jason C. Cushman

-Opinionated Man

@smokendust

Depression Settles at the Bottom

IMG_3010

I don’t view depression as waves, at least not for me. My depression feels like white flakes in a snow globe and are activated when something shakes me to my core. I become the center and the space around me becomes my world, a world I cannot see. While blinded I feel my swinging mood aiming for me like a gauntlet and I am the fool that has entered into it blind. No matter how hard I try, I simply cannot escape.

It has been 17 years since I found out about my birth mom and my sister. It has been 12 years since I tried to kill myself the first time. It has been 9 years  since I found happiness again. Through those transitions I have relearned my depression. Through those years I have grown to accept it and myself.

People always want to fix things. Fix your smile so it looks just right, fix your attitude so it fits your new smile, and while we are at it let’s fix your past so you can finally move on. Depression? Take these meds, a few more pills. Lay back down on this couch… aren’t you comfortable yet? Tell me about your problems so I can tell you why they aren’t really issues. Let me know all your concerns so I can explain how you created them. Men and women in white coats scribbling your life away in a second. Trying to find the answers when we don’t even know the question.

Depression settles at the bottom. It never goes away. It never “finally leaves.” When happiness slams the door who is the first to notice and peep their head from waiting closet? Who knows just the right words to whisper in your ear so that you question the answers you once had?

Feelings come like a shaking sun and all you can do is stand there in your crystal prison and wait.

Waiting for depression to settle once more.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

44.1

img_0379-27

Hoping to Die

There was a time in my life when the land was covered in darkness. It did not matter what time of the day it was there was simply no light. I walked the world a ghost and prayed to any god that would listen that he or she would simply end it for me. I wanted to die. I wrote the below poem in remembrance of that time of weakness.

And there they lay. The tools of the day. A razor, a pile of pills, and a bottle of Tanqueray.

I have stared in the mirror for hours. All have gone to bed. With each tear has come resolve. We may as well end it all. I hate you. With a hand I gulp the pills, the bottle is already near. I gulp death’s companion. And to the left are the backup dancers.

A letter to someone… I hope… anyone?

Never there is a reply. I say this aloud now as the razor cuts once, twice, thrice… and as the ice cold water washes away my sight. I feel life fleeing from my nearing empty vessel. And suddenly a wrongness, a surrender of an opportunity? I do not know.

And as the light flees the coming darkness, all I can do is embrace the growing warmth.

People fail to realize that there is depression and there is suicidal. To me suicidal is the point you reach when you just don’t care. You could give a shit less about heaven or hell, they are one and the same because your life has become a living hell. It doesn’t matter how many “do gooders” speak soft words in your direction, you only see darkness.

I remember well that time still to this day. The feeling of that night, sitting online and telling a few “close online friends” that I just didn’t care. That it was time to see what the next page brought. I remember a feeling of finality when I shut down my mother’s computer. My steps were almost light as I walked slowly upstairs. Neither asleep, nor really awake… I walked like a man in a daze to my bathroom. I starred at myself in the mirror for what seems like hours and in those precious minutes I decided I was ready to die. I made that choice. I took those pills and I drank that bottle to the head and I remember smiling. Because finally I didn’t feel so cold anymore. The warmth of death was my friend that night and I was ready to receive him.

It changes you… that type of experience. It is nothing to brag about and many might feel ashamed of that type of weakness. To feel ashamed of being human is a shame in itself. I was human that night, but I am lucky my humanity failed to die.

-Opinionated Man

Jason C. Cushman

@smokendust

44.1

hr