Day 154: I often think of my depression as a black hole. I’ve probably got the actual physics of a black hole all wrong but in my head it works. I’m travelling each day in my little space ship around space. My space ship is my head. My being. Space is life. I can go a long time travelling in my space ship (let’s call it the Super Orbiter 5000) passing by different planets, stars, storms and other travellers. It’s all pretty normal and sometimes it is nice. Occasionally a storm shakes my Super Orbiter 5000 but it’s been engineered to cope with bumps and a bit of turbulence. It can even cope with collisions with other travellers.
Every now and again there are warning signs that I’m approaching the vicinity of a black hole. I should be vigilant about this as I know from experience that the black hole isn’t somewhere you want to get too close to, even worse would be a trip into the black hole! If I’m on my A-game I replot my course, make some alternations to the Super Orbiter 5000 and travel far enough away from it to relax and focus on the things I enjoy like space walks, racing through asteroid belts and eating popcorn as it floats around my zero gravity cockpit.
Unfortunately I get distracted from time to time and even dismiss the risks involved with getting close to that hole. Maybe it isn’t so bad I say to myself. Maybe its just a doorway into something I don’t yet understand? What’s the worst that could happen? I’ve heard of people flying into the black hole and returning again. Yes, people go in and are never seen again but maybe they don’t have a great ship like my Super Orbiter 5000?!
Let’s be brave. Relax a little! What will be will be. I say that despite doubting my own words but I’m drawn to allowing fate to take over and if I’m meant to interact with the thing I’m told to stay away from then so be it. Nobody knows the answer to everything – especially not the physics of a black hole!
Weeks pass. I keep on doing what I do best. I feel ok, I’m content and I’m even enjoying some days as I journey through the wide open space. I feel guilty for being ok. Successive days of feeling content is greedy. I’m enjoying my time in this Orbiter 5000 that I’ve developed over the years but with enjoyment comes doubt. Why? I really don’t know. It is what it is I say to myself. I do like my space ship and I do like my travels but I’ve never been comfortable with accepting this is my Mecca and appreciating the good feelings it gives me. I just see it as a job. Getting from one place to another. Yeah, that is easier to accept. It’s a process and I’m progressing. Try not to get too comfortable.
Then there it is. Out of nowhere. And I can’t do anything about it. The Super Oribiter 5000 is no match for the velocity and the sheer power of the Black Hole. How didn’t I notice it? Surely I should have known I was approaching it?
Or maybe I did. But I ignored it. Told myself to just go with it. Then I forgot about it. And now I’m here. I feel silly. I feel helpless. I feel like accepting defeat. I can’t fight this monster. My ship is good but not that good. Maybe I should just turn off the engine and close my eyes. Yeah, that sounds like the best thing to do. After all, I got myself into this mess. Nobody else did. I’m on my own in this space ship so nobody will miss me. Well, I guess some of the other travellers might. The ones I fly past most days. Always talk to on my radio. The people I sometimes go for space walks with and then join them on far away planets for adventures. Great people. I like them a lot. They always tell me to be careful about the Black Hole and to let them know if I get too close. So why didn’t I?! I’m so stupid. I didn’t listen to them. Maybe they were just being polite though? I don’t like being a burden on other travellers. They have their own space ships to think about.
I’m in the hole now. I can feel the energy being sucked out of me. The Super Orbiter 5000 is shaking and making some really worrying noises. The windows are cracking and the lights are flickering. Do I try and escape this mess I’m in or do I close my eyes? I wish I had the answers, I really do.
Then I hear somebody on my radio. Somebody is trying to talk to me. It’s crackling and hard to understand but it is definitely contact from another traveller. I open my eyes, I grab the mouth piece and I shout back. Loud and clear I shout back.
“HELP ME! I NEED HELP!”
I feel like a weight has been lifted off my chest and my vision is becoming clearer. I feel at ease now because I believe I can survive this. And I do. I’m not sure how and I’m not sure why but the Super Orbiter 5000 finds it’s way out of the darkness and I can see the beauty of space again. The planets, the stars, the storms and the other travellers. I wave, I smile and I cry.
I replot my course and away I go. I don’t know where to but I know I want to find out.