Wishing for the Blues

The Blues. It didn’t occur to me how absurd an analogy to depression this is until I found myself annoyed to see it in the myriad articles on depression. Like a poorly made sweater, it doesn’t quite stretch over my head, and I can only fit one forearm into a sleeve because it just doesn’t fit. And I’m not sure I want it to.

Because depression isn’t blue. Because blue is too lovely and too vibrant and too calming a color for a condition so void of all those things, so void of everything. And honestly, those days when I wrapped myself around the pillow and hoped to sleep through the weekend, I’d have killed to feel Blue. The countless hours of burying myself under mounds of shame and anxiety, I’d gladly pass on to have the Blues. To feel Blue would have meant to be at peace. Or something good like that.

Blue is my beloved, late cat’s eyes; the sky in May; the water by beaches that aren’t in New Jersey; the cover of several meditation and relaxation albums; those jeans I can dress up or down and always feel as good as they look; the undertone of genuine turquoise, symbolic of clarity and expression; my daughter’s favorite color…so many other people’s favorite color… How can depression be Blue?

It can’t.

It’s too ugly and exhausting and lonely. Like Taupe. “My favorite color is Taupe,” said no one ever in life. And the three people in the world who have said it to themselves would never admit it to anyone else. Taupe is the color of vomit, which like depression, is better out than in. It’s like a crayon the factory made by mistake, and kept in the box because the other awesome colors made up for it. Plus, it keeps them snug in the box.


Just..bleh.. (Credit: manhattan-nest.com)

Other colors are too multifaceted in their hues and significance to be the face of depression. Like black, which is essentially the sum of all colors—it is rage and seduction and guilt and glee and sadness and relief and despondency and fear and everything all at once. And grey, a great base color from which so many others can be complemented. They vary in shade and purpose; they have nicknames. Taupe is just that. Muted and waiting for the other colors to save it.

Having depression is like being in a room with no door and a single 5″x7″ window. That room is taupe, from floor to ceiling. There’s no escape from the deadening drab. The only sign that this isn’t how things are supposed to be is at that window, where the sky’s expansive blue makes you want to break down those unrelenting walls to touch it.

Yeah, I would have The Blues any day, instead of depression.

This was originally published on my Medium.com page.

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