I had to take my mum to the hospital today, and was a little pissed off when I found out she was going to be 2 hours & I hadn’t taken my book! Luckily, the little shop there had a load of books on sale, and although I’d stayed away from it, feeling it was a ‘trash’ novel, I chose ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It was the best of a very poor section.  I am, however, exceptionally taken with this book, about a woman discovering herself after a failed marriage and disastrous relationship.  I’ve found there is an awful lot I can identify with, even down to certain characters…

Anyway, Gilbert wrote beautifully about her experience with Depression & Loneliness, which is something that many of us struggle to put into words…

‘They come up on me all silent and menacing like Pinkerton Detectives, and they flank me – Depression on my left, Loneliness on my right. They don’t need to show me their badges. I know these guys very well. We’ve been playing a cat and mouse game for years now….

I say to them “how did you find me here?…”

Depression, always the wise guy, says, “What – you’re not happy to see us?”

“Go away,” I tell him.

Loneliness, the more sensitive cop, says, “I’m sorry ma’am. But I might have to tail you the whole time…It’s my assignment.”

“I’d really rather you didn’t,” I tell him, and he shrugs almost apologetically, but only moves closer.

Then they frisk me. They empty my pockets of any joy I had been carrying there. Depression even confiscates my identity; but he always does that. Then loneliness starts interrogating me, which I dread because it always goes on for hours. He’s polite but relentless, and he always trips me up eventually. He asks if I have any reason to be happy that I know of. He asks why I am all by myself tonight, yet again. He asks (though we’ve already been through this line of questioning hundreds of times already) why I can’t keep a relationship going…why I messed things up with every man I’ve ever been with. He asks me where I was the night I turned thirty, and why things have gone so sour since then. He asks why I can’t get my act together, and why I’m not hat home living in a nice house and raising nice children like any respectable woman my age should be…He asks where I think I’ll end up in my old age, if I keep living this way.

I walk back home, hoping to shake them, but they keep following me, these two goons. Deprssion has a firm hand on my shoulder and Loneliness harangues me with his interrogation. I don’t even bother eating dinner; I don’t want them watching me. I don’t want to let them up the stairs to my apartment, either, but I know Depression, and he’s got a billy club, so there’s no stopping him coming in if he decides he wants to.

“It’s not fair for you to come here,” I tell Depression. “I paid my time off already…”

But he just gives me a dark smile, settles in my favourite chair, puts his feet on my table and lights a cigar, filling the place with his awful smoke. Loneliness watches and sighs, then climbs into my bed and pulls the covers over himself, fully dressed, shoes on and all. He’s going to make me sleep with him again tonight, I just know it.’

I can really identify with this, and it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one.

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