"The lights went out."


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I have been a little depressed recently (mild clinical depression, unpleasant but mostly manageable) and in the evenings when I run out of distractions, my mind keeps drifting more and more to thoughts of suicide and self harm, they are intrusive thoughts, not something I have any intention of acting on, though they have been getting a little insistent recently, then on the way to work this morning, it happened again, I couldn't shake thoughts of suicide and self-harm. This is alarming because this is the first time in a long time it has happened bright and early in the morning, and then something much more troubling happened, I only recently came up with this metaphor, so bear with me.

Imagine you were born in a room which was perfectly ambiently lit from all angles, there aren't any shadows, no darkness, just soft light. Throughout your life you have no concept of light because everything is just always there and visible, seeing is taken for granted, that's just how things are, then one day someone turns out the lights.

In the same way, imagine a metaphorical light in the world made out all your hopes and desires for the future, your connection and familiarity to the present and your surroundings and the meaning behind everything past present and future, an invisible light of value to everything in the world and your continued existence in it, as with the lights in the room, you never noticed this as it was always there, now imagine that metaphorical light goes out, you feel no hope, no connection or comforting familiarity with anything around you, and hold no value to anything at all.

Everything is alien and unwelcoming and hopeless, any event or action, positive or negative, is ultimately meaningless, you have no place in the world, no sense of connection to anything around you, and the world has no business existing, it just does because it does.

That metaphorical light went out for me today during my morning commute, and stayed off for several hours, during which I found it difficult to function, I was seriously tempted to just turn around, skip work and go home, something I have never done or even considered (strong work ethic). It was a very unpleasantly familiar feeling from when I was severely depressed back at university, it is a sign that I have to take this seriously now.

As an added warning sign, there is a song which epitomises this feeling for me, this song is part of a set of concrete mental and emotional checks I have for monitoring my mental state, i.e. if I am getting depressed and how badly, and this song suddenly getting stuck in my head from nowhere is a sign that my mental state is deteriorating, and it has been running around my head all day on a loop: "Stranger" by Noah and the Whale
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