It’s foggy. Everywhere I look is a haze of fog. Its thick, gray fogginess surrounds me, so close I can barely breathe, because it’s not just normal fog, this is heavy fog. This isn’t just affecting your vision fog, this is pressing up against you, seeping into you, enveloping you thick, gray fog.

You can watch it slowly approaching on the horizon and you carry on about your daily business, trying to get everything done in case you’re locked in when it arrives, hoping that you can deflect it as it closes in with your busyness.

Warily you watch it coming closer, doubling your efforts, locking down everything in sight, protecting all those you can from the oncoming fog. Making preparations so that when it does arrive things are not so hard, still desperately hoping that at the last minute it will clear and you will see sunny blue skies again without having to battle through the fog.

But it does descend. You can feel it. It starts to swallow you up. It creeps in through any gap in the windows, under the doors, through the walls. You begin breathing it in and immediately feel it clogging up your lungs. Suddenly you feel like you’ve been smoking 40 a day your whole life, chest tight, breathing strained, trapped. You can’t see for its grayness, can’t move for its heaviness, can’t breathe for its thickness. It’s like you’re drowning in it.

Every second feels like an hour. It drags by, unable to do anything but watch the white noise all around you, feel the evil inside you and it is exhausting. It is an exhaustion only known to those who have felt it, an exhaustion that no amount of sleep can cure. No desire to do anything, not even for basic human needs, because to battle through the fog is too much of an effort. Everything is too much of an effort.

Eventually it will lift and you will be left with the destruction it has caused, again. You will finally drag yourself out of bed to see the pile of unwashed dishes, the unopened mail, the backlog of work and the abandoned friends but you will be grateful. You will take a great gulp of air and you will be so grateful. And for a brief second that is all you will feel until it dawns on you that it will come again, and you must prepare.

Photo by Stefano Pollio on Unsplash

I wrote this piece as a guest post for Beckiclesie back in 2010. I am republishing it on my own blog for Mental Health Awareness Week 2018.

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