Dark Clouds Overhead: literal and figurative, and the universe laughed...

Metaphors are everywhere. I've said before that the universe has a great sense of humor, though today it seemed more like it was making a cruel joke. The depression has been lingering, and as I – and many others - have said, it is like having a black cloud hanging over you, following you and sometimes chasing you, and that black cloud of depression can be difficult, if not impossible, to get out from under.

Today, as I walked my usual path on my afternoon workout (a part of my now daily routine, an attempt to get my ass back in shape and hopefully help with the blues, but only barely skimming the surface on both counts) I was literally being followed by dark, menacing rain clouds. I saw them as I began my trek, looming on the horizon, in much the same way the threat of depression appears looming in the distance, making its presence known, and recognized by those of us who have felt the grasp of its cold, dark sadness before. Thinking I could avoid them, and tempting fate, I skated along the edge of the clouds, feeling sure that I would be safe from their wrath and putting forth much energy to keep my pace and escape unscathed. As I felt them gaining on me, I pushed forward; harder, faster - all the time looking back. The raindrops began to fall, and hit me. At first one, then another, then more, several at once; bigger… faster… I started to run, my feet hitting the pavement in heavy, desperate slaps. I felt panic creeping through my body, I couldn't let myself be consumed! I struggled to get ahead of the darkness that threatened, but the more I pushed, the more tired I became, and I began to feel I was fighting a losing battle. Fear grabbed a hold of me as I fought my body to keep going, to beat this storm that threatened to overtake me. Each time I got ahead of the cold, wet rain, and slowed down, exhausted – it only caught up with me each time soaking me a bit more. I was fighting a losing battle, and at this point was lacking the drive, determination, and energy with which to continue the fight. Where I had once been treading water, I finally felt myself sinking, at first bobbing, struggling, and eventually being pulled under. I stopped abruptly as stout rain drops hit me all over, coming at me from all angles to the point where I felt like I was the target at a driving range. It surrounded me, overtook me, coming down in heavy sheets everywhere I turned. I was drowning in the pouring rain. My legs were tired, my body ached, my head spun as though I was drunk, and I gave up, gave in, and let the dark, cold, wet depression consume me. I felt vulnerable and helpless. I felt as though I was being sucked downward into a deep whirlpool, a cesspool of depression.

It was such a literal, physical experience of what I have been feeling emotionally. I cried and laughed and let my tears mix with the icy, callous rain drops. It almost felt good to give in, and give up, and let myself go. It was an odd, kind of freeing feeling. In a way I made it through the worst part and came out the other side. 


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