I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes
I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black
Paint it Black – Mick Jagger
I think Mick Jagger knows what it feels like to be depressed. This particular song referred to a funeral. But when you are depressed it feels like you’re living in a funeral. Everybody talks in hushed tones, somber colors, and the cloying smell of too many flowers.
I hate bipolar disease! I hate it, hate it, hate it! It must be really weird to live with someone with this disorder. I can’t imagine what goes on my husband’s mind. From the inside, in my head, it’s constant fear. Even when I think I’m OK. I can be sitting there drinking a cup of coffee minding my own business and get hit by a sudden emotional tidal wave.
The giant hand of God of mental illness reaches down, scoops me up and slams me against the wall…hard. A voice from on high announces “today thou shalt be depressed! I don’t care what your plans are…this is how you shall be today.” And you don’t know how long it’s going to last. It might last for hours or days or weeks or even months. No rhyme or reason to it all.
And then as suddenly as it came it’s gone. Or sometimes it happens slowly like a flower opening. One day I go an entire day without crying. That’s progress. The next day I go a whole day without crying and take a shower and get dressed. The day after that I can add cleaning the kitchen to my repertoire of mundane things I’m capable of doing.
A few days later I might even try to leave the house. That’s always tricky because I have this irrational fear that I’m going to open the front door and Sigmund Freud will be standing there with a clip board staring at me over his glasses. He’ll stare down his nose at me and ask “well little girl, what makes you think you are capable of doing anything at all? You’re sick! Leaving the house and driving a car? Get real, seriously?”
But I do it anyway, I have to. If I give up than the illness wins. I become a house bound mental case, a shut in hiding from the world. I become my own worst nightmare.