Little black submarines. Operator, please, put me back on the line.

August 16, 2013 § Leave a comment


Sad (Photo credit: ▲Bonard▼)

Because of the shame I associate with vulnerability I am numbing myself completely.” – Because of the shame. 


I suppose what is bothering me is the feeling that nothing feels like it should any more. Like it did, at least. It’s cold, autopilot, muscle memory, clinical, cynical  recycled conversation that gets me through the days. When did I start “getting through” days? When did I start counting the minutes in the hours in the days? When did I stop that break neck, ricochet madness that meant so much to me. That defined me. I’d pinball around, everything was new, everything was shiny, everything was exciting. I miss exciting. I feel the dull peace creep over me.

I was around 15 when I diagnosed my depression. Boxed it in. Took notes. Started trying to understand one of the biggest, most important and best hidden parts of me. “It’s a loss of perspective.” I thought to myself. “Clinical loss of perspective.” That’s what they should tell you when you leave the doctors. Instead of the mountains of pills, that I never touched, they should instead just list every reason you shouldn’t feel how you do. Nice life. No immediate threat of death. Immediate water and food. Health. They should, but they don’t. They don’t because it wouldn’t work. You can’t out think it like that. You have to get on top of it, sure, but for me, not like that. It’s messy.

For something so slow burning and cold it started loudly. I awoke bolt up right at 15, cold sweat, heart racing, afraid and brought to this state by a noise. A loud and piercing scream, the kind of thing that comes from all the way down. The bottom of the stomach, the heart of the lungs. A roar that span me into confusion. That special fear that comes to those who are shocked to waking. I heard my heart first, then the scream. I felt the scream before I heard it. The rumble and tensing of those tight muscles in my own throat and jaw. It was me. Like some terrible memory had come to me in the night. Like I was trying to fight it on it’s way in. Scare it away. I wasn’t lucky. I made the concious decision to stop the scream I had no concious decision in starting. I sat in my sweat and confusion listening to heart rattle around in my rib cage like a baby’s toy. I heard the noise of lights turning on, feet fast on floorboards, my door opening and my parents concern. I had no explanation. It had started. A week later it happened again. And the week after. It carried on for a whole month. And then another. It got so regular my parents would barely wake.

In the following months I had the fortune to fall in love. Teenage love. That mad roller coaster of uppers and downers. Way downers. It hid behind it. The plummeting sensation I put down to toying with a very volatile and potent emotion. It dug it’s nails in deep, it climbed on my back, held on, made camp. It carried on. It lived in my boredom. I turned 18 and went to University where I feel in love with everything all at once. I met friends and fell in love with the friends closest to me. I found rest-bite. I could keep it at bay. Despite the large amount of substances I was consuming, my friends kept me safe, kept me level, kept me that elusive happy. When I left at 21 the darkness found me again. Got back on. Made home. I started pouring it into this blog to relieve the pressure I was feeling.  I was never the cutting myself type. This isn’t a cry for attention. I strived to hide my illness from my family and friends. Pushed it deep down and only let it come out when I was locked away, alone. Scars make that harder to do. Scars are outside proof that there’s something wrong. If anyone asks, nothing’s wrong. If anyone looks, nothing’s wrong.

The best actors in the world aren’t on TV. They aren’t in our films and they aren’t on a stage on the West end or Broadway. They aren’t picking up Oscars. They are our addicts and manic depressives. They are us. They are me.


Simon Blake.

No Longer an Astronaut.


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