My Dark Passenger, Can I Detach? Part One

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My Dark Passenger. I remember when I first named my depression, the dark passenger. It was sometime after my first psychiatric ward visit. It felt right, and to be honest, to have a name for it, that identity was a way to separate from the depression, but it was not really a separation in truth. I gave it a name, a place in my life, and it has always been my downfall. Sure, I have won battles since it became a part of me, but I have yet to win the war. It is always there, but does it have to be?

I have talked recently about detachment, and it is something that I am learning in life coaching. Recently, I was talking with someone, and they said something that stuck with me since. Creating a space for myself and detach the dark passenger. It was a challenge from this person, and I wondered if I could because as much as I have shed my life’s identities, this is a major one. I have no doubt the ability to detach is within me. I created the dark passenger, and letting go is something that I am getting better at over the last two months. 

The dark passenger is an old friend. I have known this something for so long, and I know if I give it space, it may never leave me, and detach we can be separate. Less depressive episodes would be a significant step in a direction. It is not like I have not done it before, because I have gone long stretches, much like my depression cycles of the past, without depression. It has been more challenging this year, as things have been tough at times. I know I bring it up, but losing my mom was a significant event in my life, and while I have had tremendous strides in allowing space for my grieving process. There are milestones in the first year of a loss that I have to face. I would like to face these events detached from my dark passenger.

I want to challenge the very idea that depression is just something that is a part of me, which, since my diagnosis, all the professionals in my life its been the party line. That is just ludicrous because, while I can get depressed, I have seen first hand that it does not have to control me. I can allow it to me, and the next step is to detach and perhaps, for now, handcuff the dark passenger to me, so that when it wants to be a part of my life, I can tell it, NO. Try it. Tell you depression, no. I bet it will change everything.

Always Keep Fighting


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12 thoughts on “My Dark Passenger, Can I Detach? Part One

  1. Writing is what truly brings understanding – you are not alone, my friend, in the realization that our depressive sentiments are in fact products of an alter ego. I likened my despair to a creature, wound tightly by a metaphorical leash in which lies our only tangible control upon something so sinister. We come to realize that, assuredly, not only are we the actual wretched beings bound by the collar, but that this alter ego is the real “you” and our desire for normalcy is what causes these intertwined psyches to wage war upon each other.

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  2. This hit home, James! When I read the words, “dark passenger” it reminded me of Dexter (HBO show) and all it entails. Hope you’re well!


  3. I’ve been referring to my eating disorder as Ed. It was encouraged during treatment as a way to recognize that part of us and how unhealthy it was. We took steps to detach from it but like you mentioned it’s hard, and for me, impossible. He’s been there for over 40 years. He’s my worst enemy but at the same time, he’s my best friend. He’s supportive/controlling. He understands/lies to me. He holds me accountable/body shaming. But he is always there and when I’m really upset, confused, and hurt, he reminds me of the habits that I have that are comforting/hurtful and dangerous. Love ya Ed. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m going through it right now again. Seems like anxiety and depression pull me in opposite directions — the anxiety tells me “worry about everything”, and the depression “why bother, it doesn’t matter anyway.” Bad times. Detaching from both of these somehow would be good. But it’s clear to me now when it wasn’t before that I have to face up to these things, not just ignore them.

    Thanks for the great posts, by the way.


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