I am a rock. I am an island. (But, God, I don’t want to be either.)

Living with Depression

“I am isolated, shielded – safe. No more expectations, disappointments, frustration. No more vulnerability. No more pain. Mission accomplished. But, damn, I swear I don’t want to live like this.”

A winter’s day
In a deep and dark December;
I am alone,
Gazing from my window to the streets below
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I’ve built walls,
A fortress deep and mighty,
That none may penetrate.
I have no need of friendship; friendship causes pain.
It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

Don’t talk of love,
But I’ve heard the words before;
It’s sleeping in my memory.
I won’t disturb the slumber of feelings that have died.
If I never loved I never would have cried.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.

And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.

Living with DepressionSure wish I could say I wrote those words – so to-the-core, so emotionally accurate and arousing. Well, fact is, Paul Simon inked the lyrics, and composed the music. Maybe you’re familiar with the song – “I Am a Rock.” Simon recorded it in 1965 for a solo album. And later that year, he and Art Garfunkel (Simon & Garfunkel) re-recorded it. It was released in 1966.

It hit me in the gut upon first listen all those years ago. Still does, at times to the point of tears. Perhaps you’d like to give it a go.

Whether you’re familiar with the song, or just heard it for the first time, what do you think? More importantly, what do you feel? You could be so armored-up and numb you really don’t know. Still, I’ll ask – are you feeling isolated, shielded – safe – in your deep and mighty fortress? The one you built when you decided you’d had enough.

It’s okay. Believe me, I understand; ’cause I’ve supervised many such construction projects. I mean, why do you suppose the song hits me so hard?

So what led to your imprisonment, anyway? Well, if depression and/or anxiety are squeezing the life out of you, I guess that’s reason enough to lock-down.

But what else is at play? Is it ridicule, having been bullied or abused? A love, friendship, or family relationship gone bad? Could it be deep discomfort with your perception of the “public you?” Dang, it could be all of the above. And I hope you understand “it” could be an immediate issue, as well as something that went down years ago.

Hmmm, no matter, I suppose. Point is, you assessed your circumstances and decided you wanted-out. And out you went. But I’m wondering if you’re pleased with your decision, and the outcome.

Is that you in the lead image above? Yes, even if you’re a guy. The moisture on the window veils her face; however, the woman appears to be in an isolated – entrapped – daze. Needless to say, she doesn’t look at all happy. And catch her hand. I think she’s doing all she can to establish contact with the outside world. Perhaps it’s her way of reaching-out to someone or something, pleading for rescue.

Again, is that you?

You know, I’d never question your right to lock-down. Nor would I ever pass judgment. I know you were in intense pain, and felt as though you were out of options. In your mind and heart, what choice did you have?

But I’d like to challenge you to unlock the door and come on out. Even if your situation isn’t resolved – even if it’s on blind faith – I’m asking you to take the risk of exposure and vulnerability. ‘Cause if you don’t, you’ve sentenced yourself to life.

Troubled one – dare to seek friendship, laughter, and loving. Dare to disturb the slumber of feelings that have died. Dare to touch someone and be touched. Dare to feel pain – and cry. Come on, you’re not a rock, or an island.

Beyond the prison of every day pain
Is freedom of spirit
Freedom from chains

On the horizon a million lost dreams
Glorious backdrops of paradise scenes
Beyond the sunlight a haven of peace

A being of wonder
And endless release

Those words, I actually wrote. ; )

“I am isolated, shielded – safe. No more expectations, disappointments, frustration. No more vulnerability. No more pain. Mission accomplished.”

Gently, who’s kidding who?

Hey! If you enjoyed the piece, why not absorb more? Here’s the collection.