I remember watching the television show "Dexter" about the loveable serial killer who worked for the Miami PD and who in later seasons wanted to bone his sister. I would say the show really jumped the shark when it introduced the whole incest thing, but where can you really go when your starting off point is loveable serial killer?
Anyway, Dexter referred to his desire to kill as his "dark passenger." It's the other side of himself that he carried with him at all times. Obviously the dark part refers to the love of murdering folks in saran wrapped rooms. It's the side of ourselves we want to keep in the shadows. Hidden. And I believe the passenger part of the saying is about how important it is to make sure that darkness doesn't become the driver. By keeping this darkness in the passenger seat, he could somehow control it.
Now, this is not me admitting that I'm a serial killer. Nor do I want to bone my sister. Well, if my sister was Jennifer Carpenter....
Nevermind. The point is this, I have to come to grips that I have been driving around with this dark passenger for a bit too long now. He's a prick and he's constantly trying to take over the wheel and drive me off a cliff. Maybe by talking about him and being open about how he's really the one calling the shots, I can find the courage to kick him out. Or at least keep him in the trunk.
So, here it goes. I'm struggling with depression and anxiety. How original right?
I know I'm not alone and feel no shame in admitting this. I find it heartbreaking that admitting depression/anxiety is truly difficult for people out there and I hope they know they're not alone.
What I do feel shame for is the way my depression/anxiety has manifested itself into this dark passenger of mine. Most of my day is spent endlessly browsing the internet searching for ways to distract me from my thoughts. How many YouTube videos of people getting scared by their friends can one human being really watch? Well, I think I own that record. Side note, does it say something about me that I love watching people getting scared? Perhaps I have some dark passengers in the back seat too....
But when that distraction gets boring which it often does, I need to find something new to fill the void. And that's when he shows up: My Big Fat Dark Passenger.
I binge eat. It's bad. It's gross. And I feel like it's slowly killing me. Two days ago, I ordered two meals...for lunch. For myself. And I'd love to tell you that I ordered the kale salad and the grilled chicken with steamed vegetables. But I didn't. I ordered the following: A double cheeseburger with bacon and a side of fries as my first meal. My second meal was chicken fingers and tater tots. My Big Fat Dark Passenger clearly has the tastebuds of a 6 year old boy.
So, after somehow going through the process of ordering this nightmare lunch despite not wanting to and despite not really having the money to do so...I wait for my feast to arrive. Or rather, my passenger waits.
It arrives. I quickly grab it from the DoorDash driver hoping they think I ordered the food for my family of five. I spread the food out over two plates and carry it into the living room where I begin to dive in. Two chicken fingers and half a burger in...I lean back and take in the carnage. That's when the shame kicks in. Usually, the shame kicks in after the meal has left no traceable evidence. But not this time. Let's chalk that up to progress. Maybe?
I grabbed both plates and threw away the remaining food and piled paper towels upon it so it couldn't be seen if the trash can were opened later by my girlfriend. That's the dark part. It's a secret. It's hidden. I can't let her or anyone else know of my big fat dark passenger. So instead, I bury that shame in the darkness and live with it. And for anyone who understands depression even slightly knows that it's not the food that my dark passenger is hungry for. It's the shame. And I keep feeding him.
So, that shame grows and bubbles up into the next double lunch, or the next 5 hours of youtube viewing. By not dealing with this, I have basically handed the keys over to my big fat dark passenger and it's me in that seat now watching the world buzz by me.
A wise man (my new therapist) recently told me (yesterday) that shame is like mold. It grows so much better in the darkness.
So perhaps by shining some light on my depression, my anxiety, my shame, my eating problem, my big fat dark passenger...I can start to regain control of my journey a bit more. So that's what this is. Maybe no one will read it, but maybe someone will and maybe it will help them come out of the shadows a bit too.
Anyway, I've got to go. The doorbell just rang and it's DoorDash...