Hiding Cracks

Why it's hard to forget Depression lurks.

Posted Sep 24, 2009

Imagine a table magnificently set for dinner with the finest bone china and cut glass, the most brilliant silver, each place laid with thoughtful precision, every knife and fork and spoon at exactly the right angle, imagine a vase of beautiful flowers neatly arranged as a centerpiece.

Now imagine a child at one end of the table, fidgeting in his seat, swinging on his chair, imagine that he tips his seat with such energetic enthusiasm that it begins to fall backwards, he reaches out in a panic for support and the only thing that comes to hand is the edge of a the neatly pressed snow-white linen table cloth. As the child - eyes wide with terror - falls, clutching the fabric tightly in his fist, so the tablecloth begins to slide across the polished surface of the dining table. The child hits the ground and every item on the table follows him.

There is a metallic crash of cutlery, the smash of plates, the shattering of a dozen crystal wine glasses, the drowning of the salt in the water which spills from the vase, the stain of red wine upon pristine white as it bleeds slowly from a bottle lying on its side.

And then there is silence - before the child's indignant scream - a deafening, hollow silence.

That's how it feels to watch a person slip into Depression. You can see what's about to happen, you can see a catastrophe unfolding, but you are completely powerless to do anything about it. It happens anyway. And before you know it, you find yourself surveying the wreckage in dismay - shards of glass, fragments of china, all the good plates strewn about you. Broken.

And you know you'll never be able to fix it, not without knowing there will always be cracks. Even if nobody else can see them, you will always know they are there, a fragility beneath the façade.