Inanimate objects attack me. Doors, tables, chairs, toilet seats, vacuum cleaners, keys, wallets, tools, cars, and computers - to name just a few of my enemies - have it out for me. They sneak up on me. They lurk in the shadows to obstruct my way. They refuse to cooperate. The small objects lose themselves on purpose. The large objects have projections which snag your clothes. Some refuse to work when you most need them to. Their secret plan is to alter my mood from good to bad. Their secret joy is to irritate me.

The attacking objects signify unwanted change impending. If I allow myself to become irritated by these unruly occurrences of everyday life, I know I can be headed toward depression. I must be on the watch for my reaction, which if it leads to angry confrontation and unreasonable reaction depression is not far behind. Often it is too late to prevent. If I have an unreasonable response to an inanimate object, I have slipped off the precipice into the abyss of depression. There in this valley of despair I will wallow, all because of some lifeless thing.

Doors are my biggest foe. I have three doors in my house that are out to get me. The front door sticks, and the key won't turn in the lock. The door to the outside from the laundry area always impedes my way to the dog food can and the washing machine; and door to my studio in the basement is a second sticking barrier. With the front door I am often there working the key in the lock to no avail and shoving against the door with my shoulder to get the damn thing to open. When it doesn't open, I am left furious on the outside, cursing this foe. I will attack it, kick it, pound it, and scream at it. The reasoning person would walk away, cool off, and return with sanity to approach the problem again. Sometimes I am that reasoning person. I walk away and return. The door decides to cooperate and opens with only a little resistance.

Then there are times especially if it is wet and rain has swollen the wood, or it just decides to be very uncooperative when the door will not open. I refuse to give up. My frustration goes into the stratosphere. I am violently working the key and shoving with all my might to open the cursed portal. Once it released its stubborn hold, the door flew open; I stumbled over the threshold and was hurled into the interior, down three steps beyond the doorway and onto the floor in a seething heap. Powered by adrenalin, I jumped up and attacked the door, slamming it with so much force the whole house shook. I was then so worked up, I had to lie down to regain composure, and when I got up I felt terribly depressed. Life I will say doesn't work for me, and I will play all my hateful tapes, pushing myself into a further forecast of doom.

I will describe a couple more implacable foes. One is particular toilet seat, which makes taking a pee a challenge. It is one of those new kind of seats made for ladies in which the seat slowly descend whenever the seat is put up. You come into the bathroom, lift the seat for a relieving discharge, and the seat slowly descends interrupting preparations. You push the seat back up. The hollow oval slowly descends again. Now you are trying to unzip your pants, and pull out your equipment one hand while pushing the seat up with the other. The seat will not stay up. You slam it back. It descends faster. You slam it back again. Now it is getting imperative to get the damn cover up. You try to control yourself in several ways. You try a determined gentle push. The seat still descends and you are in danger of peeing all over the place. So finally you hold up the seat with one hand and pee with the other all the while spewing foul language at this infernal object. Once done and you are lucky to have all the pee hit the mark of the bowl, you try to close the seat. The seat stays up. With clenched hand and a tightened jaw I walk out of the bathroom. My head is full of negative thoughts.

Keys are the most infernal objects. There are times I can't find them. I search the whole house to no avail. I reconstruct where last I was when I saw them, again to no avail. As the time passes I become more agitated. I search the house again. I go through all my clothes, pants, jackets, shirts, and even shoes. I accuse the dog of stealing them, but I know that is ridiculous. Keys aren't editable and therefore are of no interest to the canine. I search my car. I look under my car. I follow the trail from my car to the house. Nothing! I am ready to explode. I search the house again. Papers and stuff are flying. My wife tells me to calm down. That only infuriates me more. More belongings get thrown about. The refrigerator innards get tossed about because once I found my keys there. Cushions fly. Doors slam. The inanimate object conspiracy has struck again. If I am lucky, I by chance find the keys in the one place I haven't looked. Because of my distress, I overlooked this one place. The keys are often by the telephone under the phone book, but I don't remember that. I only remember that this frightful event makes me feel bad in the very bosom of my being. All my negative energy has been released and I will tumble into a short - sometimes long- depression.

Thus if I find myself becoming irritable with any inanimate object, I must try to put it in perspective. This can be not just a small occurrence, but a sign post of possible depression. If I allow myself to continue the irritation, I will surely fall. I must fight again the tendency to become ruffled. I must think positive thoughts; try positive actions. Thus if I can be awake and aware, the likelihood of a depressed incident is lessened. There are the times however when I am not in control. I am not awake to my situation. I end up burning in the fire of mental hell. The inanimate objects have won their war with me.

About the Author

Carlton Davis

Carlton Davis is an architect, artist, writer, and public speaker about mental illness.

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