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Mid-Afternoon Melancholy

Sometimes it is like this. A slide into the pit after a (brief) soar into the sky. The trick is to keep one’s footing strong and steady and able to run up those steep impossible walls and come up and out again.

It begins as physical exhaustion. Intense sleepiness. Aches at various points of the body. On very bad days there is appetite loss and the symptoms of a fever without a fever. But overarching all is the extreme exhaustion. A desire to just lie down and close one’s eyes and sleep, sleep, sleep. Waking up feels like it should be optional.

There is restlessness. Helplessness. Yet, and yet, if one can muster enough focus beyond the desire for oblivion, along the very thin edges of the despair is a half-invisible light. A seam marking the threshold to hope. But it is so very faint and so very fragile. A sigh could sink it.

A general sense of wrongness, with the self as somehow the core of a mistake. A sense of not belonging. Of having missed the “right” turns and failing to believe in the “right” answers. An overwhelming sense of failure.

Feeling unreasonable and irresponsible. Misplaced stubbornness. Wasted resilience. Faith in the “wrong” things.

A long-drawn-out ending. A beginning whose spark keeps fizzing out. Stuck in the middle, crushed in the middle, lost in the middle of all that is mediocre where conformity is survival and everything I have ever done could count as a suicide.

A treasure hoard of unpolished dreams. Not one good enough or strong enough to withstand the deafening roar of the status quo.

This will pass. This paralysis of the spirit. This inconvenient invisible despair. This deep hunger. This inconsolable sadness and inexplicable grief.

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