There is Only a Partial Pentagram in Team
by The Egg Party
Man, depression. I understand those who deny having mental health problems, pushing them down with brown. Once you say them out loud, once you own your condition/s, the battle commences. You have to begin fighting, because the burden of inactivity will be heavy on your shoulders.
And what a demon.
It is interesting about the process of naming of a beast. I think it is funny in fiction when knowing the name of monster is its main weakness. It is based on the idea of the True Name. Naming the Depression Beast is some kind of magic, for there is power in every word spoken or written. And evocation magic is strong magic. Summoning that demon will make it, eventually, easier to tame. I think this concept came up in my last submission when I was interviewing the guest, [redacted].
What got me thinking about the power of words was this:
Alan Moore - Magick
So you see the demon for the first time and you want to fight. At first you reach to strike, punch at the face of the beast. You miss, as your punch swings wide, cutting through the air where the demon used to be. For it has lowered itself to the ground, lying down in the large pentagram that surrounds it. It yawns lazily, making itself comfortable. You are still angry so you reach down to the ground in an attempt to punch the prone figure. You strike with fists full of antidepressants, but you are ineffective, as you arms sink into the flabby sides of the demon. You cannot conquer this beast with rage.
And so you sit there and wait and try to think of a plan. You pop the pills in your hands, flicking one after the other into the air and catching them into your mouth. How do you vanquish a beast that's not interested in the fact that you have summoned it? Cver time, you try to talk to it more. You talk to yourself also. The demon barely pays any attention. It gives exaggerated sighs in response to your pleas, threats, and bribes.
When the demon does talk, it is not a response to anything you say. It mutters something hateful. Those words manage to make a proper strike, poisoned barbs that hit your ego, your self, your hope. And the barbs continue on. And you look at the demon and you think about each insult, analysing every idea through your reality testing machine. The Device, I like to call it.
The Device results:
Am I depressed or just looking to be a victim?
Am I an asshole?
Am I a failure?
Maybe. Okay brain, I get it.
What percentage chance am I a failure? 87%?
Sometimes the demon is right. That's the hardest part. That's how it is, that's how has to be. We are imperfect and those imperfections are ripe for exaggeration. Eventually you realise that The Device is nothing but a gentle desk fan, doing no analysis at all. The papers and numbers you imagined were only dreams that are blowing out of you unorganised briefcase. In the end, there is no way to test those ideas. So you have to just acclimatise yourself to them. Feel the gentle mist of bullshit. Sitting by the pentagram you listen to the demon. The words change but the synthesis of most translates to, "you are a waste of space, energy and time."
And so it goes on, you sit and you listen. Over time you notice that you have less fucks to give, credit to concept of Basic Fuckology. You age as you sit at the edge of the pentagram. Most of the time the demon looks asleep, aside from the absent pointer finger slowly rotating, cleaning it's bellybutton. The demon's mouth opens infrequently. It knows you get the picture. You suck. You do most of the work yourself. The demon is a lazy gardener.
But over the years, the pentagram has taken a different shape. It is not a pentagram but a heptagon, the protective ward morphing into the shape of your drug box. And you feel the weight of the years spent depressed or thinking about depression. Here is the point where you can be easily led down that dark road of hopelessness. Overwhelmed, overcome. Oh course you are! Fuck sake, you are fighting a fucking demon.
Over those days, weeks, months, years of hopelessness, sometimes demon shouts and those shouts hurt you badly. And you think about dying. Only thing that stops you is the suspicion that demons might be in the place you end up. Or that you end up in a place so empty, so nothing, that you will miss your demon. And why go there? This demon is one I know.
"Fuck you!" You stand, kicking the salt, ruin edge of the heptagram. "Come out of this weird sanctum! I know you, Depression demon, we've spent a lot of years together. And despite you, many of those years were good. Let's go find a bar. In fact jump on my shoulders, cunt. You're just going to complain about walking and the terrible state of my body. You're on my team. Let's hang out because, remember, there is only a partial pentagram in team!"
As you walk together, you think about the future. "Demon, the world will end this year anyway let's go get pissed. Jack proclaimed it, 'the Doom Prophecy states that the Melbourne Demons winning the fucking premmo will be the sign of the end times. Demons on horses, riding with the apocalypse. Up yah cunts! Two cups of Midori Splice please barkeep.'"
So I am walking with my demon as I go to get a beer after writing this. I think I enjoyed doing this piece. Sure it was rushed and I get it and yes, that is me doing the work for my demon. Sure. But I enjoyed it in that strange, converse, paradoxical, bullshit way that depression has. Sometimes it is the people around you that deny you happiness when you have depression. For you are categorised, simplified. But we are a mess of different demons. Be angry, sad, happy, depressed, confused, constipated, whatever, enjoy the company of all those demons. For they are are kin. We are, in fact, demons. We certainly create them, 'they inarguably exist in the human mind."
And some days I want to see my depression a puzzle. Not a beast. A challenge. Knowing what kind of puzzle it is helps. My puzzle is made of words, and it is mastered by putting endless computations into this shitty alphabet-based Sudoku. I will attack this puzzle, this beast, with thoughts and words primarily.
What were we talking about?
I am talking about demons, or coming back to Melbourne or something, shit man...
And sadness, well, I need that. I hope that I made you smile once in this story. Or some story prior, if you're a regular, hanging around this neck of the internet-woods. If you did smile, consider that moment of sadness stolen by me. I feast on sadness, for that is the nature of my demonhood. I'm not some lazy demon, casully annoying one of the many brain of the world. I have more of a generalised strategy. I use words to harvest chuckles and smiles. My favourite treat is when someone slaps their forehead laughing. That morsel is delectable. But I do not know of my reward. It happens away from. So some days I sit in the park, in the sun, and I feel a tingle. Sometimes I swear I can feel my stomach swell. So that's neat.
If I were a magician, which I am saying I am distinctly not, and if I wrote a book of spells, I think it would be a grimoire of hope. I would, one day, like to a be some conduit of self-hatred, stop hating yourself humanity and do something about it. Coagula is needed. Let me do the self hatred thing for you, I have it in spades, I'm an expert.
Welll, aaaaaaaaaaaannnnyyyywwwwaaaayyyyy outside of that, the future is summer.
I mean that in the darkest way possible.
Love you all,