Traditionally a fortress is a place of security and safety; a stronghold to protect those within from the invading marauders on the outside, particularly once the drawbridge is pulled up. The 'enemy' can be viewed from the safe vantage point of the ramparts, shot at through arrow slits or doused in boiling oil, if one is that way inclined.
But the fortress of my depression, which has built itself up around me, tends to do just the opposite. The thick impenetrable walls seem to set me apart from the world outside, muffle my senses, trap me in, keeping me distanced from all that's out there to be seen, felt and experienced.
Continuing with the metaphor, I do keep fighting and try so hard to do all that I can to partake in life. I take my battering ram and batter that drawbridge. I go for a run: bam! I go to the gym: bam! I meet with friends: bam! I volunteer twice a week: bam! I work part-time: bam! I sing in a choir: bam! I spend time with my family and my 5 gorgeous, funny, naughty little grandchildren (I'm so lucky to be a young Grannie) bam bam bam!!
These are all things that are recommended for good mental health, but I've just somehow gravitated towards such activities or they're part of my life anyway. Yet somehow it's never enough and I've still had so many days of late where I've not wanted to keep fighting; keep trying; keep living. And I pull the drawbridge up myself.
So yes, the sunlight sometimes shines through the arrow slits, but generally I feel as if I can't ever break out to truly smell, hear and experience a world that isn't muted and dulled. And I can't quite accept either, that perhaps this should be enough.
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