A wraith slides silently through an absolutely black night. It blends with the darkness, making it indiscernible to the naked eye. Unseen, unknown, the wraith slips in through a castle’s defenses unnoticed and lowers the drawbridge allowing safe passage across its protective moat.
Awaiting attackers storm the castle, defeat its inhabitants, and take control. They rule with an iron fist. The castle’s inhabitants are cruelly mistreated, incarcerated, and starved. They are miserable. They dream of the life they enjoyed before the attackers conquered their castle.
This story is all too true, in a sense. It happened to me, sadly. It happens frequently, in fact. You see, in my story, insomnia is the wraith the slips in behind my protective fortress. It keeps me from sleeping thus weakening my emotional defenses. Once my emotional defenses are down, depression invades my body and conquers all.
I haven’t gotten much sleep in the last few days. What sleep I’ve gotten has evidently not been enough to fuel my emotional defenses, because the depression demon has once again made itself at home in my body. My eye lids feel like they are full of lead. There’s a strange pressure caving my head in. My muscles are sore despite the fact I’ve done no strenuous activity. I have no motivation to do anything. Even at work. I know things need to be done, but I don’t care.
Last night I laid in bed pondering a plethora of things while I should have been sleeping. Errant thoughts raced through my head, preventing the sandman from completing his vital task. I stared into the darkness. I stared at the ceiling. I checked my phone. I read a book. I eventually passed out.
I’m feeling a bit better today than I did yesterday, but the depression is still there clinging like my shadow. It’s always there somehow, some way. Each day brings a new battle which I must wage with that bastard. When insomnia claims victory over me so, too, does depression. Then I drown in emotions unleashed by the sabotaged dam which was holding them back. There doesn’t have to be a trigger. No event to pull me under. It just happens. And that’s what depression is. You’re sad because it says so.
Luckily I’ve been winning the majority of these battles since my divorce has been finalized. Once in while, however, insomnia creeps in and allows depression to sneak back in and I spend that day walking around like I’m under water.