So, when I was in my third year of university, which ended in June of this year (2018), I wrote a fiction piece which took its inspiration from the Greek myth of Perseus and the Labyrinth. We all know the one, right? Perseus heads into the labyrinth as a ‘sacrifice’ and with the help of Ariadne, navigates his way through with string. In the end, Perseus defeats the Minotaur that lives in the labyrinth and returns home (sort of) triumphantly. This is an oversimplification of the myth, I know, but it serves as a good introduction to this blog.
You see, I wanted to write this story because of my struggle with depression and how much it sometimes feels like wandering through a labyrinth, only without the string. The Minotaur, in this scenario, is played by my depression itself. It loves its role. The story itself took on a life of its own, as these things often do, and it didn’t go in the direction that I thought it would. That was okay though because I’m happy with how the story turned out, although it might need a little more editing before I think it’s finally finished.
I guess what I wanted to talk about in this blog post, was how much it actually feels like my depression is a maze, a labyrinth. I feel like I’m stuck in here, wandering through a labyrinth of past thoughts, past mistakes, present thoughts, present mistakes etc. You get the idea. Without the string though, this maze gets pretty disorienting pretty quickly. It’s really easy to get caught up in what could have been, what should have been, and it’s really easy to get lost in all of that. Ultimately, I think the maze is made up of my lack of self-esteem. It’s the linchpin to everything that’s wrong with my mind.
I have a really, really low self opinion of myself. I have no idea why. I can’t trace it to any traumatic experience in my past, so maybe it’s just all in my head? I don’t know, to be honest. I guess if I did know, I could fix it. The fact of the matter remains that I don’t like myself, like, at all. It’s probably some kind of mental illness, it probably even has a name, but if it does, I don’t know what it is.
Anyway, the fact of the matter is that I feel that my ‘labyrinth’ is made up of my self-esteem issues and that my depression functions as its ‘Minotaur’, stalking the halls and making sure that anything that find its ways in never gets out again. You know, things like me. I feel like I’m trapped in here and can’t ever really find my way out.
I’m always hopeful that one day, someone will come along with a ball of twine and help guide me out of this maze, but the deeper and deeper I get into this place, the less likely I feel that I’m ever going to find my way out. It is what it is, and, as anyone who knows me well can tell you, I can be pretty stubborn when I want to be.
So, while my actual maze isn’t quite as dramatic as the one I wrote about in my short story, it’s still very much a real thing and I’m trapped inside of it, even while it does an okay job of keeping me connected to the outside world. Well, it sometimes does a good job of that, anyway.
Maybe this post lost its thread along the way, which in the context is kind of ironic, but not entirely unexpected. I suppose I’m trying to say that my problems probably stem a lot deeper than just simple ‘depression’, but every maze has a way out, right?
Be kind to each other,