No Face

Closure. Connection. Comprehension. I’m not sure if these are the perfect words for what I want out of myself. They just look safe. They just seem like the type of diction people find in their lives that makes them understand what they’re all about. I’ve hated people for it. Knowing themselves, understanding their limitations and aspirations. I’m not sure how anyone can actually know these things about their life. The world, reality, it constantly flows like some secret river in a haunted cave with a ghoul fishing it. You never really understand it. Chaos appears. Happiness too. They swing back and forth like that pixel-forged pendulum from the intro to Chrono Trigger. This is the nature of our existence.

I guess I just get jealous of other people because they appear to have control. They present this illusion that they have the answer to every question life will throw at them. Usually, it is fear of change that puts people in control. You do not fear the woods because you will never walk in it. You do not fear the mountain because you will never climb it.

You will never understand the demon because you’ll never want to see it.

I work in monsters a lot. They make the more complex emotions in our world more palatable and understandable. You can study how people react to them. You can evaluate the very basic emotions. Fear, love, hope, a monster puts them all in perspective. Nothing makes a human more human than when a devil crawls out of a cave looking for fresh meat. Nothing makes life simpler than a half-metal dragon hunting you through the sky like some phantasmal arrow. This is why I love monsters.

They aren’t a parlor trick. They aren’t a tool for entertainment. They aren’t something to gross you out and make you cower beneath the blankets. I don’t use them to garnish cheap feelings out of you. I’m not trying to make you scared. Monsters are not some sort of game to me.

After all, I have one living inside of me.

If you’re honest to yourself about a mental illness, whether it is anxiety, or in my case depression, you realize you have little to no control over this feeling. You are eternally lost. You are the lost wanderer looking for hope before the end of the world. It is not a welcoming feeling. It makes most people crumble. Some face suicide. I have been there. I have been to the bridge and watched the rocks curve beneath the water like lost sound waves. Some choose withdrawal. They hide from the world behind their children and family, until the outside has changed so much they can’t relate to it. Others hide behind crappy jobs, other people’s expectations, or a culture’s own hypocritical view of life. You then take out this pain of non-being on the people around you. Another action I’m very guilty of committing.

So what to do with the unseen force? How do you accept that you’ll never be cured of sadness, anxiety, or any of the inherent chemical disfigurements of your brain’s colliding gray matter? Are you cursed? Has god forsaken you like in a Greek myth? Are you tied eternally to a rock with an eagle prying out your liver?


The answer is better than you think. Accepting the chaotic nature in yourself is to realize the lack of control in the universe around you. Instead of focusing on trying to cure an incurable ailment, you should adjust your lens to the parts of your life you have control over. For me, it is the creation of monsters. This is by far my favorite past-time, my interest in media, and now my profession. Instead of trying to conquer my depression, I apply monsters to it so I can understand it easier. I focus on what I’m good at.

Sometimes, when the house is quiet and empty, I close my eyes and look into my mind for my depression. I don’t find anything at first. Then I give it some air. A fog wraps around the room. The mist is black and inky, like I was trapped in some stormy gem atop a mad king’s scepter. I don’t blink. I don’t fall asleep. I don’t move a single atom of my body. It simply rises up out of the floor. An undead serpent rising in a sea of tombstones. A dragon rising up from its golden hoard.

It has no real form. Just a hood pulled tight around it’s shoulders. There is a gap of darkness where its face would be. The abyss could both murder you and raise the dead. It rivals the void you’d see spinning at the center of a black hole, yet, it is the shape of a man. The shape of me.

That’s all I get.

And more importantly that’s all I want. A complete and utter answer to my depression will never be said. A remedy or cure isn’t possible. I cannot mask, change, morph, or cloak my disease like a flaw in a painting. All I can do is give it a shape without a face. All I can do is make monsters so that sometimes I can understand myself. I can comprehend the sadness that powers me like a lost reactor on some abandoned planet. A metaphor will do, because the truth will never be there. It is lost in the chemical composition of my brain.

I will never see my monster’s face.

134 thoughts on “No Face

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  2. Hi! Brave of you to talk about this! Its also good that you are finding a way to put a “face” to it. Put all the caotic feelings into perspective.

    I too can relate to this. I know all to well what depression is and how it feels like. Had oh so dark moments in my life and still have sometimes. But I have to disagree that’s it for my life, and others with the same struggle. No one is doomed to this condition. Hardest thing to admit while in depression is that there is a way without it. Because in those moments, sometimes there is no way of pulling yourself out of it. But I also know there is ups and downs in life, and different seasons. When Im down on my knees mentally I know there will be light again. And I refuse to give those monsters in my life any recognition. They can go to hell! I will never stop fighting for a better life. And I will never stop looking for peace of mind.



    1. Hello Viewmytrip, at the very end, the author wrote: “I will never see my monsterโ€™s face.” so when you write it’s good to “put a face to it” I wonder if you agree this is more about being with the monster than seeing the monster?


    2. Hi! I meant that the author is putting words to wathever feelings is experienced. And in that way makes hard described feelings and thoughts visible in pictures (in this case, making them monsters). What im trying to say is that its really good to talk about ex depression being there and being a part of your life. To make it visible. But… I dont agree for us to accept it and say this is the way we should feel and live. I know there is a way to live a free and happy life. Not saying im there but im not staying with the monsters๐Ÿ˜‰
      Made myself any clearer..? ๐Ÿ˜Š


    3. Hi Viewmytrip, thanks for clarifying. I appreciate you taking the time.
      I don’t think that’s what the author is saying, tho.
      I think you are more afraid of this persons monsters or “depression” than they are and you’re projecting the recovery plan you’d need. Your intentions are good… but monsters aren’t bad. Monsters are a beautiful archetype for this person to explore so that they can manage depression in a creative way. That’s entirely cathartic for some people and so monsters teach us if we allow them to. This author didn’t sound like they were giving in to the depression. They sound interested in going a little deeper into what those feelings are like. Sharing that with readers is a brave place to introduce a monster that will be judged and misunderstood.
      I don’t know either of you, so I don’t mean to be presumptuous either.
      Thanks for the dialogue. Peace to all.


    4. Hi Viewmytrip, maybe you would be interested in looking into Somatic Therapy to understand the use of the monster or the beast while not looking directly at the “face” of it which can re-traumatize people? It’s used for people with post traumatic stress injury and it’s about recovering fully and becoming free of the accompanying depression. Peter A. Levine is a leader in the somatic therapy. I just read his book In An Unspoken Voice (how the body releases trauma and restores goodness) but he’s written many many books. He wrote about Medusa and how to deal with the “monster” without looking at her face which causes petrification, immobilization and death. The archetype in the greek myth was speaking to our fears and psychosis and catharsis perhaps not unlike this author’s post.
      Anyhow… I hope wellness and peace to you and all here… thanks for the pow wow.


    5. Sounds interesting.๐Ÿ™‚ but still.. Really think ex depression is not a part of us but only a condition made by our own feelings and surcomstances. It will pass. No matter the past there is allways a not so far away place where you can live happily. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ˜Š
      Thank you for an interesting conversation!!! Br, Josephine


    6. I don’t know what you mean by ex-depression, Josephine. I realize you are extending a hopeful yet generalized life hoorah. That’s cool. But bio-polar people are average depressed people and Addiction-depression maybe a component or not, and Post traumatic stress injury depression may involve addiction depression and compound that, and so the kind of depression which is not an exact science isn’t something we can cheerfully cure on line. The somatic healing is about recovery but it is specific to that condition. What you are saying is too generalized and it erases what the “depressed” person should be allowed to express… Expressing what it feel like is part of the release. If you thwart that too soon the monster doesn’t really go away and make life happy. It just shuns the monster so it might come back bigger next time, in order to be recognized. It’s okay to write about scary things and dark emotions. That doesn’t mean clinging forever. It’s not bad to “feel” the monster. To go through the trembling or the anxiety and just be aware of how tense or whatever it makes us feel and our memories might begin to surface and cause a fight or flight response, but with the right guide, not guru, people start to acknowledge why the pain and how to move forward. Somatic therapy allows the person to feel and pace the recovery and it doesn’t have to relive the experiences, it acknowledges what is keeping the individual trapped or stuck and not able to grow past those things. It releases the person from the monster but we always remember those experiences. It’s an empathetic approach to accepting the whole person, but it’s hard to explain in a comment section. I’ve already gone on too long and too preachy. Sorry about that Josephine… but anyhow thanks again for allowing the conversation. It’s good to know how far we are understanding each other and how far we even want to…

      Take care. ๐Ÿ™‚


    7. I think we agree in many parts here. I do agree those methods you are discribing are good and needed, and yes I know a lot about depression. My own and others. The only thing I strongly disagree to is for us to say: this is how I feel and it cannot change. Ever. Ofcourse it can! With the right help, personal comittment and changed circumstances it will change! Should we pretend everything is fine when things are not? No! Should we pretend we are fine when really not? Ofcourse not. We are allowed to feel and express all those dark moments. We are allowed of doubt and disbelief. We can even give up from time to time. But… We should never proclaim its incurable and inchangable. For it is not. This is all I have to say, all I wanted to have said from the beginning. Im out๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thank you for the conversation and best regards!!


    8. Hi Viewmytrip, Okay…never say never. And the only constant in life is change… so I will agree with you to a degree. But “happiness” is not a goal that you reach, it’s something that comes and goes. It’s also not the most important thing in the world. Being interested in life is enough. Sometimes the work we do is fulfilling but not a “happy” thing for example. And there is no real “should” there is only the way it is (which may or may not change in the way you perceive or desire happiness.) And so linguistically we ( you and I) can’t make this discussion work, I suppose? I am completely supportive and wanting happiness for people and for people not to give up, and so this we can agree on…๐Ÿ™‚
      In any case, the author of this post doesn’t seem to suffer from depression too deeply (which is good!)… and I’m probably taking this more seriously than I “should” have.๐Ÿ˜‰ I was reading his next post and he was saying people seem to think the world is like Godzilla and about to get them… and he was minimizing the monster while promoting his book sales and talking about driving a minivan. I didn’t bother to point out that for the Japanese the Godzilla archetype is a real monster based on what really did take over their lives or that they have every right to be afraid of “Godzilla” because it is a metaphor for the atom bomb. We are not making war up… and it’s beyond depressing. Many young Japanese people gave up faith after the bomb. The history books were written by the U.S. when we helped with reconstruction. So how do they cope and heal after a real traumatic collective experience? This is where Peter Levine found success in somatic healing and helping people return to health even in the “face” of such horror. It’s real recovery but we don’t forget or make light of Godzilla. Godzilla is a way to speak about living in our own time and trying not to repeat mistakes. Trying not to be arrogant. Respecting nature.
      ’nuff said…
      Thank you for your time and for honoring the discussion. Best regards to you as well.


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