My biggest struggle right now is keeping depression and despair at bay. My depression has always run in a 24-hour cycle, getting suddenly worse at sunset and growing deeper as the night goes on. A couple of friends have put themselves at my disposal at this hour, so I'll have someone to talk to, but I haven't done that, yet. It's important that I not wear my friends down with my neediness. I've been on the receiving end of that, and I know that a person in even the direst of straits can drive friends away by placing constant demands on their time, patience and emotional reserves.
I seem to have two kinds of depression. One is the daily depression that sometimes feels like an old, comfortable blanket. It's been with me my whole life. Although it causes me to avoid friends and put off things that need to be done, I often sort of wrap myself up in it and settle into it.
The other depression is like a short, dark, ugly creature that opens its mouth into an impossibly wide chasm, cold and black, into which I feel I might helplessly fall, tumbling down, down, darker and darker, until there's no light left at all. The last time I felt this depression was in 1998-1999, when my whole life suddenly fell apart. I survived that, but in that case, cells of my body weren't actively trying to kill me.
It has become very important to not be alone. I try to spend time with someone every evening before I go home to bed. I have come to fear solitude because I know that when I'm alone, the creature will come tiptoeing out of the long shadows of the night and open its gaping mouth, waiting for me to fall into it.
In my fantasy, Quan Yin comes and sits at the edge of my bed, keeping me company and keeping the creature at bay. But I wish Quan Yin would manifest herself as a real person to be at my side during these darkest hours. As Paul Medina pointed out in a comment to an earlier post, I eventually have to finish this journey alone. Until that time comes, though, I wish she was here.