In Chaos there is Cosmos

The Rope


Depression just is, like the weather. -Stephen Fry


Depression has often been described as the feeling you have when you are falling endlessly in a dark, bottomless well. On a poetic level, some melancholic fellow going through a regular heartbreak or undergoing a minor heartbreak might concur. Or, it may so have happened that he lost his dream job, didn’t get his dream school or just failed at something. He might understand the sinking, emptiness and will try his best to relate to it. He will listen to old blues songs or this one album by Beck*, write a song or two himself, and even boldly strum it in the solitude of his room with his film posters as the smiling audience. He will think that he is better than this, he will take up dance classes, self improvement being the obvious solution to this depression. Isn’t is? A couple of months later and ten pounds lighter, he will be a new man, invigorated and ready to take the bull by the horns again. His artist of choice throughout would be Rolling Stones but the songs would change from Fool to Cry to Satisfaction to You Don’t Always Get What You Want. He got over his “depression” like a champ! Is it so easy?


Agreed, depression is the feeling like you might have in a dark well but it’s not a simple as merely falling. Imagine a rope tied to your waist. You are comfortable and the rope causes you no pain on it’s own and you almost feel like Christian Bale going down the cave in Batman Begins but only, you’re not Batman. I digress. Yes, you’re comfortably hoisted then lowered into the nice dark, bottomless well. It is cool and you can’t even hear your echo. Surreptitiously your descent begins. You’re friends crowd around the top, they can’t see your hoist ofcourse and you keep casually chatting with them. As you move deeper the light from the top begins to recede, your friends voices lower to whispers and then stop altogether. You look up and see shadows, vestiges of your past days, indiscernible from one another. Confused and slightly amused you ignore it and look down. You see nothing and now hear nothing but at the back of your head you know that you’ve descended pretty low and there is no end to this and you should start back up. Panic sets in and you’d want to go back. The rope was tied to your back so there is no way to flip yourself over. There are no walls to grab either. You claw at the rope but the knot is perfect. You tug at it and nothing happens. The silent motor does its job malevolently. You keep struggling and your muscles fatigue. Your arms turn to rubber and your legs droop down each weighing a hundred pounds. You look up, and see a dot of light, the top is like a firefly stuck to a ceiling. You call out but can’t even hear your own voice. All five senses are now numb. You don’t care about eating or beautiful women or even the Rolling Stones. Your don’t want to get back up and you don’t care. You’re tired all the time even though you did nothing, the darkness hurts your eyes, and the silence your ears. All the while you’re going deeper. You don’t what to think about your situation, you accept the well as your abode. It feels natural now. You go lower and lower and lower, it’s all dark and silent and all this is permates inside. “Just hang in there, mate”. There is one trick the devil allows you though. A knife. Feel bored, feel angry, feel nothing, well you can always cut the rope and free fall. Imagine the thrill and it’s so easy. It would just be like the skydiving experience you had back in college, the devil reminds you. It’ll be if not  fun at least better than this.


So, how does he get out? He can’t. Can’t you see the rope too? Easy right, you have to pull him out. The deeper he is the harder you have to pull. The hard part is seeing the rope. Sometimes things are so bright, or people are so busy in the humdrum that they ignore the rope. It doesn’t have to be a dramatic haul (unless it’s too late) a small tug here and there and he will be out in no time.You don’t ask how did he fell into the well, he doesn’t know himself. You don’t ask him to just “hang in there”. You pull, everyday, every single day, for the machine knows not how to stop. It’s not easy, I know, but he has no choice. He can’t think for himself and it has to be you. Imagine your last “depression” session and at least relate to the sinking part. Be the Rolling Stones for him, for you are what he needs right now.


Hurry, before he decides to cut the rope.