Staring at the Corner

Darkness Visible from “Darkness Visible” by William Styron

You’ll find me staring at the corner several times a day, trying to make sense of the absurdity and the beauty of life that somehow coexist.

It has been OCD, anxiety, depression. Zoloft, Lexapro, Effexor. Begging doctors to get me on meds, quitting cold turkey, brutal, slow withdrawals. 4 in-person therapists, 2 online therapists, 1 psychiatrist, 2 general practitioners. Calls to clinics, online support groups, meditation, self-help books, journaling, early bedtimes, sitting in profound emptiness.

Minds are complicated. Solutions to mental health crises are complicated. Maybe we could use a little less “exercise and a balanced diet worked for me” and a bit more “let me know how I can help.” Less “it’s just a phase” and more “tell me about the bad parts.” We love happy endings and solutions and goals and bows on top. Most of us don’t want to hear about the sorrow and despair unless the story ends with a victory. But in the midst of profound pain, looking up at those mountain tops only make you feel that much lower in elevation.

I think we should live and help others to live. Tell me about your mental breakdown and I’ll tell you about mine. We can sit in the darkness, staring at the corner together.

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