Recently, I have been attending a course on building self-esteem. One of the techniques they have introduced us to is personification – to characterise and personalise our issues.
This morning, I woke up weighed down with the fog of depression. I spent the morning curled up in bed, hiding from the world.
Then I remembered this technique, and I decided to try and personify my depression.
What is his name? (I don’t know my, but my depression is definitely a ‘he’.)
Somehow, I didn’t want to give my depression a human name…
Then a line from Romeo and Juliet came to mind:
“A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
That phrase, “a glooming peace”, defines depression for me. It conveys a heaviness, a peace that is not restful or pleasant, but deadening and oppressive.
So I decided to call my depression “Glooming”.
What, I asked myself, is Glooming like?
Glooming is not human. Glooming is not an animal. Glooming is not really a recognisable being.
Glooming is a fog-creature. A thick, heavy fog-creature, with the insubstantial and creeping nature of fog, combined with the heaviness of a very wet, cold blanket. A creature that can at one and the same time penetrate every nook and cranny of your being, and weigh you down and submerge you. A creature with no legs, that hovers as it moves, but with many, many arms, reaching out for me, to pull me back down into his dark embrace.
That is Glooming. That is my depression. And strangely, having named him, I felt as if I had a slight measure of control over him.
But knowing and naming my depression is only part of the battle.
I will try and tell you more tomorrow.