What is the shape of depression? In my case, it's a demon. An incubus, to be exact.
Sometimes, it's a horned, clawed beast, slavering outside the gates of my mind just waiting for me to leave them unlocked. He is gross, persistent - nagging me to indulge in his bottomless temptations. He comes to me with the silence of unwashed clothes, body odor, wallowed out couch cushions, remote controls, unlimited streaming services, bags of Cheetos, and stacks of Oreos. He mocks me with gym equipment and pleasant weather outside. He feeds on my self-loathing and is difficult to keep at bay. Sometimes my defenses waiver and fail. He exhausts me.
Other times, the worst of times, he is a chiseled and glamorous Adonis seducing me with peaceful oblivion. He tempts me with scalding hot baths and gallons of wine, the sweet release of unconscious avoidance. He is false; like a sweet first date suddenly turning into a gang bang without lube. He is violating and coarse. His words echo in my head, rife with platitudes of worthlessness. He is the only one who truly cares about me. Why not embrace his intoxication? He terrifies me, scraping me out until I am an empty shell with nothing left to give to him or myself. I am helpless.
I have no idea if either iteration of my incubus is sexually gratified when they visit me. They do not share these thoughts with me. All I know, is I am relieved beyond measure when I survive his attentions.
My New Friend
My mom called Monday morning. She and Dad had just left the doctor’s office and had gotten bad news. Two weeks ago one doctor found a mass in her abdomen…approximately 8cm x 11cm. Another doctor did a aspiration and of course the “stuff” was sent off to pathology to find out what IT is. Monday she found out that the mass is malignant and there’s also a spot on her liver. Her oncologist believes this is metastasized cancer from the tumor they removed from her colon three summers ago. Now – three years ago we were told the tumor was self-contained and all scans showed no cancer anywhere else. This NOW is classified as a Stage IV lymphoma.
Awesome. She’s only 60. And I’m 1700 miles away.
I’ve always been that kid. The one who called every other day to see how they were doing…how the garden was growing…how the cats were enjoying the new dogs next door. I lived 10 minutes away. They had keys to my house and Mom would stop in during her lunch break several times a week.
Now I get to trust my sister to do all the things I’d probably do. And I KNOW she can. She’ll do a great job…and has really been wonderful. Doesn’t change the fact that this is a new role for both of us to play.
I felt really guilty at first. Not being there to help. Just not being there. Particularly since I moved just a month ago. I mean the timing couldn’t have been worse, could it? I mentioned it to a very WISE friend and she text-yelled at me! Ha!
She said “Do NOT waste another minute feeling guilty. It is not our place to understand God’s reasons or timing. It is our place to trust that everything happens for a reason. The timing in this situation is too perfect to be anything but divinely guided. Don’t be selfish by focusing on your own feelings. Focus on your mom.” Yes ma’am!
So that’s the way I’m approaching it. I’m going to continue to be the chatty kid. I’m not going to ask for more details than she volunteers. I’ll try to boost sad spirits and encourage good ones. I’ll be offended on her behalf when she needs me to be and will talk sense into her when she’s being irrational. The upshot…I’ll be her friend. Not her daughter.