Depression: A Life of Holes

Holes (2003).

You know the 2003 movie with Shia LaBeouf (we’re at like the beginning of peak LaBeouf), Holes, based on Louis Sachar’s book of the same name from 1998? Where the general idea is that the main character is sent to a juvenile detention center in a desert in Texas, and the inmates have to dig holes? First off, I only realized just now that I’ve seen the film adaptation, but I’ve never read the book. On the other hand, I have read Sachar’s very fun Wayside School series.

Anyway, I was thinking about that today while on my walk on a rather beautiful day in an attempt to keep the darkness at bay, and admittedly, it wasn’t working. It was beautiful in the moment and of course, making my dog happy was great (read to the end for photos!), but the darkness wasn’t abating today. And for some reason, the movie Holes and the general idea of “holes” popped into my head. Gosh, it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, but I was thinking about how when it comes to depression, I can plot on a timeline my holes, as it were. In other words, I can distinctly recall, “Okay, from January to June, I was in this hole, and at that point, I managed to crawl my way out of it. And then in the first week of September, I was in this hole for a briefer period, and crawled out of it.” And so on. My life is a series of holes. Each hole with a depth and contours and duration different than the last.

“The message of this lecture is that black holes ain’t as black as they are painted. They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole both on the outside and possibly to another universe. So if you feel you are in a black hole, don’t give up; there’s a way out.”

Stephen Hawking
A black hole, courtesy of NASA.

And I don’t know. It gets tiring living a life of holes? That’s what occurred to me while walking was that a.) I’m back in one of those holes, which is why the beautiful day walk with the dog didn’t help; and b.) that it gets tiring always having to dig out of holes, knowing you’ll be back in one again.

It’s not so much the holidays, although that’s part of it, as I know the holidays can be a real drag for a lot of people and in general, the winter months, too. It’s a double whammy of hell for people. But the holidays and the winter months don’t bother me much. A lot of it is like being face down in the dirt of the hole, where it’s hard to see a way out or the light at the end of the tunnel, not realizing that you just gotta turn right side up.

Stuck. It’s feeling stuck more than anything. And I’ve had periods like that before where it seemed like the big pillars of life (schooling, work and romantic connection) were on shaky foundations, and then one or two would work out, and even all three at one point, but now I’m back to the shaky foundation and uncertainty. So, hopefully it works out like it has in the past, although now we’re down to two pillars since I’m not in school anymore.

Now as promised, here are pictures from the walk with my dog. It’s a place down the street from my house, where they made a walking path that runs parallel to train tracks, and actually, right when the walk started, a train came barreling through and spooked my dog. It’s not the most picturesque trail, but it’s close, and it beats the suburbs. Anyhow, the last picture is of her satisfied face after the walk!

Does this image of “holes” resonate with you?

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