Introduction: For my final two tales, I want to return to where I started, ghost stories. Not just because it’s Halloween, although that plays a part, but because I fucking love ghosts. The idea of a pale figure standing in the corner watching me will never fail to send a shiver down my spine, and what’s better than that? However, as much as that is true, today’s ghost story is a ghost story that’s not really about the ghost (wow, that was a lot of ghosts). I’d love to pretend that what it is about is subtly hidden away, but it’s not, it’s pretty fucking obvious. Still, you gotta do what you gotta do.
There is a ghost in my house.
It’s not the kind of ghost that pops out of dark rooms to make me jump and scream. Nor is it the kind that moves things around, putting items in strange places or sending chairs dancing across the room.
No, it’s the kind of ghost that sits in the corner, watching. Then, when I’m at my lowest, it comes out and rests on my shoulders, wrapping itself around me like a blanket of melancholy, weighing me down with its powers of sadness.
On the days the ghost drapes itself over me, the world feels a lot harder. Its weight makes the steps I take that little bit heavier while clambering out of bed takes twice as long as usual. Meanwhile, the doubting words it whispers in my ear are distracting, causing me to stare off into space, as I can’t help believing everything it says. I become distant and lost, losing track of where I am or what I’m doing.
That’s on the better days, though, when the shadows aren’t long, and the ghost is made weak by the sun. On darker days, I don’t have to worry where I am, for it is always home, frozen to the spot, unable to leave. It doesn’t matter whether its a trip to the shop or lunch with my oldest friend, the ghost’s influence clouds my brain and the idea of stepping outside becomes nearly impossible. I sit staring at the door, trying to make myself leave, but ultimately giving up, crawling into bed instead, and hiding from the world.
And some things can fight the ghost off: the power of laughter, a good book, even the right song in the right place or a film that I can relax in like a hot bath. However, none of them has yet defeated it. It’s always sitting there, waiting for the clouds to pass across the sky and the light to hide away, so it can creep out and wrap itself around me once more. At this point, it’s almost an old friend, the kind you tolerate not because you like them, but because they’ve been around so long that you don’t know how to ask them to leave.
I worry, though. I worry that my ghost is always going to be here, following me around and making life hard. That it will rest on my shoulders until the day I die, weighing down my steps and whispering its doubts in my ear. I worry that it doesn’t live inside this house, but that it does live inside of me.
I usually put a link to my Ko-Fi down here in the hope that my talent so overawes someone that they want to give me money. With today’s story having a pretty obvious mental health link, however, it seems only right to suggest you don’t give that money to me, but MIND. They do good things and probably deserve it more.