- the state of being completely forgotten or unknown
- the state of forgetting or of being oblivious
- the act or process of dying out; complete annihilation or extinction
For those of us with depression, and other mental health conditions, there can often be something quite seductive about the state of oblivion. It can, however, mean different things for different people.
For some, oblivion is a longing for death as an escape; an end of suffering. For others, it is all about the state of forgetting; about being able to somehow eliminate the negative energy that permeates every thread of their existence. For me, it is something slightly different.
I’m not going to lie; there are times that I wish I were dead. I don’t want to kill myself or be killed. I don’t actually want to die; I simply want to be dead. I want to no longer feel, to no longer be aware. I want to just give up. I have no desire to exist.
But that’s not what oblivion means to me. The biggest problem with being dead is, as far as we are aware, you can’t actually experience being dead. What I long for most of all is somehow to be able to experience oblivion; a kind of conscious awareness of non-existence. In a way, what I want is to be in a kind of coma or state of suspended animation where I am somehow aware of the nothingness of that state; experiencing and participating in that darkness and the silence and “feel” how that state is rebuilding me.
Many people with depression talk about the darkness/blackness of their moods; It’s something I have done numerous times myself. Perversely, however, I have always found a certain comfort in the dark, of being wrapped in its embrace and hidden aware. Far from being something to fear, for me that dark has always been associated with protection, with camouflage, with shelter. I love the darkness and silence of the dead of night, knowing that I can’t be seen, taking comfort from drowsy warmth that accompanies that particular time of day.
Perhaps it is simply nothing more than a subliminal longing to return to the warm, dark, enveloping safety of the womb. Whatever it is, wherever I am, I am always drawn to the Siren’s song of oblivion.