Depression Saboteur


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In this post I would like to give you a first intro­duc­tion to my sabo­teur.
One of her most out­stand­ing qual­i­ties is her silky smooth and ever so sweet voice. Don’t be fooled though, this voice of hers is a dou­ble edged sword! Skill­ful­ly plac­ing every word on my weak points. Cut­ting through every lit­tle glim­mer of hope and strand of resis­tance that tries to emerge.

You may have left my home, but you can’t leave me. I am in your mind, I am that voice say­ing: ‘You’re not good enough lit­tle girl. You’re not smart enough or tough enough or… [strong] …enough to make it in this world’. And that lit­tle voice is going to eat away at you like ter­mites until your whole pathet­ic… [image of your­self] …comes crash­ing down. You think you’re on the road to… [get­ting bet­ter] …but you couldn’t make it from here to the door with­out me point­ing the way.

Elek­tra Extrav­a­gan­za, Pose S1 E08 (fic­tion­al character)

She feels most com­fort­able in my depres­sion hole and calls it her home sweet home. Not con­fined to that dark and murky place her voice can reach me in any sit­u­a­tion in which I feel inse­cure or lack con­fi­dence. For instance we all have that voice with­in us telling us we’re not good enough. That’s her (at her weak­est)! Most of the time we have enough of an ener­gy buffer to tell her to shut up and ignore her clam­or.

She how­ev­er is the most pow­er­ful and strongest in the realm of doom and gloom. Always ready to pounce at you from the shad­ows in your moments of neg­li­gence. After all you’ve become easy prey when you fall in to the depres­sion hole, only focussing on the light source from above. All she has to do is wait until you’ve tired your­self out by try­ing to get out. At first I hard­ly ever noticed that she took on the role of prompter. Using every chance she gets to slow­ly and con­tin­u­ous­ly sow seeds of doubt and self hatred.

From Dementor to Saboteur

J.K. Rowling's Dementor's vs. my Saboteur

Demen­tors are among the foulest crea­tures that walk this earth. They infest the dark­est, filth­i­est places, they glo­ry in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and hap­pi­ness out of the air around them. Even Mug­gles feel their pres­ence, though they can’t see them. Get too near a Demen­tor and every good feel­ing, every hap­py mem­o­ry will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Demen­tor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to some­thing like itself — soul-less and evil. You’ll be left with noth­ing but the worst expe­ri­ences of your life.”

J.K. Rowl­ing, Har­ry Pot­ter and the Pris­on­er of Azk­a­ban (2004)

When first read­ing about J.K. Rowling’s demen­tors I thought to myself that they tru­ly are the embod­i­ment of depres­sion. That depres­sion was this awful mon­strous being that held pow­er over me. That’s what it felt like in the ear­ly stages of under­stand­ing my depres­sion. I have since come to learn that there are dif­fer­ent parts that play into this feel­ing and belief. My sabo­teur actu­al­ly does not look any­thing like demen­tors and depres­sion to me is a place I am pulled into and not a crea­ture. While demen­tors in Har­ry Pot­ter are out­side and their own enti­ty, my sabo­teur is very much a part of me. Sure, she’s an enti­ty too but she’s not on the outside.

Saboteur shares the trait of sucking Joy with Dementors.

Nev­er­the­less she shares the trait of a demen­tor: want­i­ng to keep me very close and inca­pac­i­tat­ed by her side, enabling her to suck every lit­tle bit of joy out of me. 

My fears, feel­ings of short­com­ing, uncer­tain­ty, fail­ure, my regrets and not being enough seem to give her sus­te­nance and strength. More­over, she rev­els in my despair. 

The more I believed her words the firmer her grip would be and the more space she claimed for her­self. Push­ing me more and more away from the cen­ter and towards the wall of the well shaft. That very much felt like she was ‘…drain[ing] peace, hope, and hap­pi­ness out of the air around…[her]…’

My Saboteur knows me in and out

As if that wasn’t enough her being a part of me makes her very famil­iar with my deep­est and dark­est fears. She has access to my sub­con­scious vault and is able to open doors, unleash­ing painful mem­o­ries I tried to shut out. Some­times draw­ing inspi­ra­tion off of what cer­tain out­side vis­i­tors care­less­ly dumped into my depres­sion hole. Forc­ing me to do her bid­ding, which is either face more of this or sur­ren­der and sleep. Not much of an option, right? Back then the only way I felt I could cope was by con­ced­ing with what she was say­ing and show­ing me.

Once I did she stopped and used her voice to soothe me to sleep. Allow­ing all the dark­ness around me to swal­low me whole. It became my blan­ket that I curled up in. I slept for days, weeks and some­times even months. I escaped into my dreams where I had some sem­blance of pow­er and con­trol. Some­where where I could drown out every­thing and did­n’t have to deal with any­thing. My sabo­teur singing a sweet song of regret to lull me back to sleep when­ev­er I’d wake up.

The Subconscious Vault

My sub­con­scious vault isn’t real­ly a vault. It looks more like a room or rather a nev­er end­ing hall­way with mul­ti­ple doors on both sides of it.
Yes, you guessed right, the one’s hor­ror movies or thrillers like to use for sus­pense. There is no light source. Every­thing is sub­merged in black water.
The rea­son being that this ‘hall­way’ or room is like a sunken ship in an even black­er under­ground lake. That lake I call my dark Abyss.

The Dark Abyss

My dark Abyss is an under­ground lake. At the very bot­tom of it lies my sub­con­scious vault. Noth­ing, up to the point that you‘ve fall­en in, pre­pares you for your first encounter with your dark Abyss.
And encounter it you will while you are in your depres­sion hole. If you’ve been neglect­ful of your own needs your sub­con­scious will call you out on it. It’s siren­like call pulling you down into it’s depths. Choos­ing the most incon­ve­nient time and place.

To be continued…

You might also want to read:
- Depres­sion
- The Out­side Visitors

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