Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The Darkness

There are two people living within me, two spirits with two different sets of emotions and feelings. There are two parts to me, constantly battling for the forefront, constantly seeking dominance one over the other. No, I don't have a split personality. No, I don't hear voices, nor do I talk to myself, at least not out loud. Yet I know these two sides live within, side by side.

The first is the me that most people see, the me that is social and positive, the me that is upbeat about living and life. This person wants to have fun, wants to smile, wants to do things and go places. This person is compassionate, caring about those around him, yet at the same time mischievous, continually finding reasons and causes for laughter. This is the person who comes out in public.
The second is the darker, broodier person, the one who prefers to hide in a silent, darkened room, seeking solitary spaces, gloomy places. This is the one who is filled with pain and anger, frustrated at what life has done and given, saddened by the daily losses and struggle, frustrated with the past, present and future. This is the person who comes out when I am alone.

Sometimes these two get mixed up. Sometimes these two people cross paths, the dark side coming when the is light all round, the light side finding its way accidentally into the gloom. It can happen; you can see it happen. Mostly, however, the darkness only comes when I sit quietly alone, contemplating just where I am these days, what brought me here, what is in front of me.

There is a reason I am social; it locks out the darkness. In the company of others I find it easier to live within the light, the battle with sorrow ever diminishing as those around me give me strength just by their presence. Yet that person, that sad and depressed soul, is always present just below the surface, the melancholy seeking a crack through which to seep, a way to darken the brightest of days.

The tears are always nearby. I suspect it will be that way right up until I breathe my last. I don't live with them forever there; I rarely see them myself let alone allow others to see them. I try hard, really hard, to keep this darkness packaged away where it cannot hurt those around me. It is work, real work, to keep the balance, recognizing the reality of my sorrow at the same time as not letting it constantly burden others.

My mind is a dangerous place. Sometimes, usually at night, when I am alone, that darkness, the anger, the pain and frustration bubbles out, blackening everything about me, stealing everything that looks like joy and happiness. I go through this darkness, this valley of the shadow of death, eventually emerging to see once again the light of day. I hate this darkness, this sadness. It serves no purpose, offers nothing of value. It's just there, stealing what it finds, destroying what it can. Yet no matter what I do, it is there.


  1. I'm with you Rick, sadness and no joy as the night commences only to be relieved by the dawning of the new day.

  2. You are not alone. You are an excellent writer.