Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Looking Back On Azkaban

I wrote this for a friend who's dealing with depression. Another friend suggested it might be a useful message for other people who have felt the dementor's kiss, so I've cross-posted it here.

I remember a time when I was deeply depressed, and had been for a long time.

I remember reading about what other people felt, and thinking about what I'd felt before, and how it seemed so distant and alien, so far from what I was capable of experiencing at the time that I could barely grasp more than the basic valence of the words. "Happy" is good, I abstractly understood that, but I couldn't remember what it meant.

I remember feeling like I was lying on my back with my limbs full of lead on the bottom of a black well thousands of light years deep, looking up at the impossibly distant pin pricks of light called "caring" and "feeling" and "knowing what beauty is". I knew in my bones that I'd never climb out to reach them.

That was impossible. Ridiculous. Unthinkable.

Fortunately, I also knew in my brain that my bones might be wrong, about everything, even if I couldn't feel that possibility any more than I could feel anything else.

It took a long time for things to change, but they did. And it feels strange to look back at that now, from this vantage point out among the stars, where I'm creating brand new blazing suns I'd never even known could exist.

And god, I am so sorry if that is where you are right now. I know that you have the support of competent people who love you, and that you're making the right decisions and moving forward despite your limbs being full of lead, so I can see that you will not be trapped there forever.

I understand that things look different from your perspective.

I hope that soon, looking back at this will feel as strange to you as it does to me.

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