I have a confession to make. I am a digital hoarder.* Borderline actual hoarder.⁑
It feels good to admit that. Admit that I don’t know how to let go. Admit that I don’t know how to process effectively because somewhere in my brain, it says “Wait wait wait wait hold on that! You might need it later!”
It’s so draining. Constantly fighting, sifting through “garbage,” searching for the truly important things. But at least now, I’m beginning to understand why I hold on so tightly; why I struggle to see the black and white that others can see so plainly. I have seen this in other people and have had to help them through this debilitating state, yet I can’t always do so for myself. Actually, let me back up. I can, I even see myself doing things I know are wrong, yet I can’t stop it. It’s more than mind over matter, it’s overwhelming. And it can happen to anyone.
For some time I’ve been letting these bad habits build. Til recently when I had, I guess you could say I had a lightbulb “ahh-HA!” moment. The best (cliché) way to describe it was as though something has been there, right in front of your face, plain as day. Pretty sure everyone has had that kind of “DUHHH!!!” moment before. Why couldn’t I see it before? Well, because I couldn’t… It’s like asking a blind person what color something is. That’s how I think of it anyway. Oh, by the way, in case you hadn’t guessed it, I’m referring to depression.
Depression is a an all-encompassing cloud, it creeps in and all around into every crevice of your being. It’s silent, invisible to the naked eye. It’s stealth and gives zero fucks. It’s come to play evil games with your heart, soul and mind. It will be your saboteur, it will be your worst nightmare, it will be… whatever you let it be. And I’ll pause right there. I hate that last statement with every fiber, but it is true.
I used to always hate it when people would tell me something like, “you have a choice to feel how you feel” or “you can choose to feel a certain way.” So on and so forth. I used to fight those kind of statements. Because sometimes your reactions and feelings have become so beaten down that you don’t know any other way, and it’s not your fault (yet it kinda is) for your reactions. It’s who you have become because of all the stimulus and interactions and events in your life. This is who you are now; accept it and fix it if you don’t like it. Because there is still time to change and most importantly: learn from it. That’s the divide. There are two sides, maybe three if you count those who seemingly get stuck somewhere in-between. Vacillating, lost, stuck. I think that’s where I am. I think it’s why I have some sort of scope these realms. I can glimpse at both sides of that menacing black wall, and what I can see is that we all need to search to find the common ground. The clearing between both sides. That’s what can be so hard to see when you’re trapped in forest so deep you can’t see even a needle in front of your face.
I can’t help but visualize this place, these places, they seem so far away; yet they are as close as what’s beyond your closet door. It can be as simple as flipping a light switch or just telling Siri to “call for help.” But we don’t. There’s great shame in admitting we need help in matters of the mind. Great shame in thinking, “I failed, I fucked up, I’m broken. This devastated me, this hurt me in a way I never saw coming and don’t think I’ll recover from it. This is the end of happiness, the end of time, the End of the World.”
Snap, snap. Stop it. Snap, snap. There are 7.6 billion people in the world today.†
You wouldn’t ask a blind person what color your shoes are, that would be just rude. The blind person has a concept in their brain of what shoes are because they’ve experienced them, they’ve felt them, they’ve even worn them. But a blind person cannot see them or the specifics of their color and design. This is the best way I can describe to anyone, more specifically, a person that has never been depressed or experienced clinical depression, what it’s like to be depressed. A person who is experiencing depression (or is it, ‘a depressed person,’ I’m not entirely sure how to appropriate ownership of depression), or did that even make sense? There’s a whole other side conversation with this but I’m just going to press on…
As a person who has lived and is currently in a state of sour times, yet has most likely experienced joy before, meaning you most likely have some memory and concept of what happiness feels or felt like. You’re able to recall when you could see the design of contentment. And that in itself amplifies any negative or less than happy feelings. But I’m digressing. Circling back, The metaphor I was trying to paint is that, you know it exists, but it’s shape and form and detail are blind to you. Or you are blind to it. I’m not making any sense anymore.
Don’t be rude and ask a depressed person if they like the color of their soul. Maybe I’m getting abstract here.
For example, “how are you today?” This is a basic question we ask of the people we interact with on a daily basis. It’s not a very deep question, but it can be. And sometimes for some people it’s agonizing. It forces them to re-think through the pain they were or are currently suffering. Or is that just me? I take things too literally at times. I should probably stop while I’m ahead. Or am I behind? PLOT TWIST: There is neither. We are on one giant looped race track and have all started at different times and will end at different times, the only race is with yourself. And Father Time. And he’s an old Koont.‡
“Digital hoarding is a hassle to tackle too.” Sam McKenzie Jr., Medium.
* Digital hoarding, Wikipedia.
⁑ Hoarding Disorder, Mayo Clinic.
† The World Bank. Data, Population. Nov. 11, 2018.
‡ Urban Dictionary, #3.