In this one the walls are green. You could say sickly, although vomit may just be the substance, the colour I choose to conjure. My eyes rest, figuratively never physically of course, on the roll of crocheted blankets. Papers are thrust forward (my interpretation) whilst my eyes linger, trying to put a finger on the need for sewn woollen diamonds in this green shell of a room. Perhaps, she’s read multicoloured wool complements green walls or off white paint flecks in the colour wheel? Perhaps, those before me needed to lie down? (Should I lie down?) Perhaps, dealing with the clinically depressed can be a mess, so she schedules in naps? I know I find blankets and the darkness (not forts, no one likes thoughts) beneath them, a comfort from my own mind. The lights are never on. This room is lit only with dying sunlight (due to the time of day, not just existentially) and the whites of her well rested eyes. And the paper she pushes forward (my interpretation). She speaks, I think. Poses questions and emails attachments – virtual not physical. Attachment is difficult in this high ceilinged, 2 x 2 shell. My voice echoes in my mind mazes and up to the tangible Victorian cornice. Detachment is easier, I think she agrees. We speak words fortnightly and leave them to live in this room but never fill it, escape into this room but never leave it. Her desk is old. Or it is brown and therefore old; brown like stale tea with the whisper of curdling milk on the surface. There is softness here which I cannot deny. In her wrinkled, liver spotted hands, in the woven wool adorning the medical room mattress and in the curves of the Victorian fireplace. The fireplace – dull, peeling and dark. A gaping mouth in this shell of a room, left wide open with rigour sucking away stale air and keeping it cold.

In this one, I’ve cried. I’ve searched for answers, an answer. All I’ve found is dust in the corners, chips in the wood and the abyss my insecurities have drilled into the moving floor beneath my unsteady, throbbing feet. I wonder if this room will always be the colour of vomit? As papers are once more, passed forward.

With pen in hand, I attempt to rate my mental health, madness, darkness, loneliness or feelings on a scale from 1 to 10. In an attempt to ignore the crocheted blankets.

_________________________

I was inspired to write this after reading ‘Where My Ghosts Come Out To Play’ on Brave and Reckless. Christine Ray’s description of the room, very different to my interpretation, plays out beautifully against the raw emotion and inner monologue of the speaker – the words ‘hope’ and ‘peace’ are tangible but empty.

Two years ago, I was in the room I have described above and I wanted to reveal the processes and mess I thought and felt during this time, when I was given the diagnosis ‘clinically depressed’ and left to hold it in my hands and weigh heavy on my shoulders. Stigma teaches us depression, or any mental health issue for that matter, is feeling ‘low, down and sad’. Experience teaches us, this is the tip of a very large expanse of ice.

 

Image credit.

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