…wear the darkness like a cape (for all depressed people and depression survivors)

Matthew Oldridge
3 min readJan 6, 2023
Depressed Person Wearing Darkness Like a Cape, Dall-E x Matthew.

Wrap it around you and cover your face with it, like a B-movie Dracula. You may feel like everyone can see it, but they just notice that you can’t meet their eyes. They notice you stare constantly at the hole in your dirty shoes. They notice a slight shuffle, and a mumble when you speak.

You are jealous of those who seem “whole”. (But they have their own struggles, friend, don’t you see that?)

Disappear inside it, pick up the video game controller, and you will feel like you are fading into the cracks in your couch. Don’t mind the potato chip crumbs, triangles of Doritos, and hairy Fritos.

Wear the darkness like Ian Curtis. Wear it like Kurt Cobain. But don’t go near a shotgun. He missed the comfort in being sad, and he blew his own head off when you were 16 and we stopped playing pickup hoops to listen to the radio and think about it, stunned into silence.

“I miss the comfort in being sad.” I wore this quote like a badge, like it was something to be proud of-teenage angst did not pay off well for me.

Talk to someone about it, and try and make them understand. Explain the ineffable, and fail (again). Talk to a counsellor a friend a therapist a parent and try and make them understand.

Yes, life is good. No, I don’t know why I feel this way.

Yes, yes, yes, I know you don’t understand.

No there is no reason to be sad. Yes, I can get some exercise. Sure I can eat better (but cheeseburgers suit my mood now, don’t they?)

You will come to feel like it is smothering you. It will be a heavy blanket covering you, and you will break out in a sweat and try to throw it off.

You can’t throw it off. It will climb up your back and grab your shoulders with claws. Noonday demon that blessedly slips off my back when I fall asleep. Is 11:00 am too early for a nap?

Sweet reprieve, sweet soul sleep.

Later you will remember, at least a little bit, what it felt like. But mostly, those feelings will be gone, for a time, dear M., you will worry constantly that they will come back.

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Matthew Oldridge

Writing about creativity, books, productivity, education, particularly mathematics, music, and whatever else “catches my mind”. ~Thinking about things~