I-Land is where memories and experiences turn into short stories, personal journal entries and narration in first person, part memoir, part fiction, exploring topics such as the relation between humans and the societies they live in.

Tearing The Cocoon: Depression


[Previously on TTC: I was there. I had been there before, on a number of dreadful occasions. I knew the signs all too well. The signs of depression.]

Depression feels like being driven deep into the ground. Like suffocating in a tomb. What is Depression, after all, other than the weight placed on one’s existence in a physical or mental way, if not both, from which one can’t escape, under which one is immobilized?

Depression had struck me both physically and mentally upon my return home from the Behind The Mirror movie set, and I was the worse for wear. I shouldn’t have been. After seven weeks of intense interaction with a fresh set of people in fresh and accomplished ways, and with the old routines closing in on me, I was bound to get the blues, wasn’t I? I had been expecting it. We had all been expecting it, to each our own.

But in addition to my intense post-BTM blues, I now had to deal with a big mass of clutter, boxes filled with items from my past, emerging like ghosts, pushing me back inside spaces I had left behind. Not to mention the bittersweet irony that the main character in BTM, Xavier, is surrounded by unopened boxes, which weigh down on him, and which he calls ‘unnecessary clutter.’ Apart from working on the production, I had spent many months developing the story with all its ‘baggage connotations’ – and here I now am, after everything has been filmed and wrapped, the first thing I see upon entering my flat is a pile of boxes containing unnecessary clutter.

Those who were on the BTM set know exactly what I’m referring to. Those of you who will watch the movie will understand when you do. Point is, suddenly and without warning, I re-entered an internal battle I’m constantly having with myself on what kind of life I want to lead. I had to deal with the burden that came with the knowledge of how social psychological mechanisms like the Looking Glass Self work, such as the realization that we are bound to certain things because we are wired in specific ways. I had to reflect upon BTM again, a story I wrote because of all these things, out of all these things, and wonder what the point to it was.

See, Behind The Mirror is the story of a man’s search for meaning, of his effort to break free from the constraints placed upon him by other people. I had written it when exploring the effect people’s observations have on each other and how to be free from the limitations we place on ourselves.

What more depressive way to end the shoot than to return to the place that had spawned the entire storyline, as if nothing had changed.

Watch this space for Part 13