(I don’t know why I wrote this – it just sort of wrote itself)
The snake pit of shame is where I retreat after my manic brain releases me from its clutches. Most certainly, I have screwed up again; said or done something I should not have, surrendered when I should have been strong. As the anxiety becomes overwhelming I spot the hidden door. My self-hatred conceals the secret password until I am too far beyond resistance. And with the mere thought of that loathing, the door opens and the pit sucks me into its deep, black belly.
The dead weight of me slams onto the cold, concrete of the circular room. A whirling dervish of confusion, I am uncertain where to go in the room filled so many doors. So many options, so little time before someone notices I’m gone. My eyes scan the room for a place to rest but one does not exist; this is not a place of comfort.
I crouch on the floor as winter’s wild breath whips through the cracks of the room. My bones have turned to icicles, my heart temporarily to stone; I will break more easily now – all the better. A vague thought whispers the promise of torment. I creep forward in the dark, not certain which misdeed has brought me to this hell. Slinking towards a door an evil scream cackles out the name of some past transgression – bad mother, bad lover, bad me.
I do not have to force myself to reach for a doorknob; I recognize the need to feel this pain. There will be no escape until punishment has been served. It is shame and depression and I am to blame. I have lost control; slowly given in, thrown in the towel and now I must make restitution in full. I wallow in the snake pit as long as I can. Lying to those around me; I’m fine just a little blue; I’ll get out of bed soon – if only they knew. But understanding completely is lost on those who do not suffer mental illness. Their imagination cannot find the road to this dank well and for that I am content. I journey on alone; eventually finding the way out and sometimes no one is the wiser. Secrets are important to my survival, what others don’t know can’t hurt me – much.