And then occasionally (oh, but too occasionally), the darkness clears to a half-light and through squinting carefully there are glimpses of what used to be, parts of the old me are just visible in the distance. I know I can’t reach them but I also know they are there and it’s comforting to realise that I’m not yet wholly gone.
Sometimes the half-light lasts a few hours, a few hours of respite, of trying to make the most of being a human again without doing too much and risk tipping myself back into the void. Sometimes it lasts a few days or weeks, even a few months. Sometimes the half-light clears and for a while all is normal, with just the threat and the knowledge of the darkness lingering in corners, on the periphery.
With the half-light comes enough clarity to question and analyse, to make promises to be different, even to begin to make plans. Who knows, if the half-light lasts long enough maybe some of those plans will come to fruition, maybe some of those changes can be made and some of that multitude of regrets dealt with.
But after weeks of such dense blackness, of hopelessness and dreams only of non-existence, it would be foolish to hope for clarity just yet, misguided to think of any plans becoming reality. I still watch the planes fly low over my house and hope that one will misjudge its descent and land squarely in my room and I still eye my stash of painkillers, wondering how many it will take and whether it will be painful or whether I’ll just vomit them up again like last time. I still feel the physical pain of loneliness and pointlessness and failure.
But for today, I’ve read a little and played a little music. Small pleasures, but ones that are lost when all is dark.
And I’ll wait to see what tomorrow brings.