The Fable of the Fish Bowl
Updated: Nov 20
'The obstacle in telling the story of this extraordinary person lies in searching for the strands of happiness running through the sorrow. Chega de saudade, no more blues.'
When in a state of depression, you morph into a different person. A transformation begins. A transformation that stems from a seed that was once planted in your brain because you have a sensitive nature and the world deeply hurt you.
Imagine a human walking down a road that seems uncomfortably quiet. A fish bowl forms over your head and instead of being filled with water, it is filled with horrible, demeaning, familiar thoughts. It is tinted red and while the world is full of colors, your reality is only red because you are in fact, in H E L L. That’s your reality.
BUT, a part of your old self still remains somewhere inside. The part that was once content and happy before the fishbowl formed over your head. It seems like an old fading memory now and you are scared that it will disappear forever because it feels like the fishbowl is here to stay forever. You need to hold on to it because it brings hope.
Now, there are barriers everywhere. A fucking L A B Y R I N T H that even a genius could not escape. The recollection of the old self and the realization of your current state creates a barrier between who you once were and your present self. A barrier between how you want to see yourself and how you see it now. A barrier of your own making. How can your own brain do this to you?
Barriers create distances. You feel withdrawn and far away from everyone else. There is a distance between you and your whole body. A distance so great and big that even the ocean would be jealous. Aesthetically viewing yourself in a mirror is different from holistically viewing yourself. The two do not match up. That’s why there is
D I S A S S O C I A T I O N.
Repetitive thoughts create pathways in your brain that are comfortable there. Comfort. The comfort is so nice. We are creatures of comfort and habit after all. It’s only natural to subconsciously retreat to a place of comfort. These repetitive yet demeaning thoughts are comforting. They have established brain patterns. It is familiar for your brain to go down them again, and again. You feel defeated because it feels inevitable.
The roots from the seed strengthen – they become thicker and more stubborn than ever. It would take some force to pull them out of their place. That force is courage. Just as it takes courage to stand up to bullies. You know you need to embark on that journey to improve yourself. The hardest part - it is not a linear progression, and you can fall really fast…
…and so, you are simultaneously feeling everything and then nothing at all. Do you even feel anymore? Why live this miserable existence that you must fight every day to get out of – that’s if you even have the energy to fight it on the day?
A person starts walking towards you and you recognize this person. You feel a warm, fuzzy feeling because you recall you have a lot of love for them, and they have a lot of love for you.
H E L L O, I T ’ S M E.
The person is tinted red like the rest of the world and the sound coming out of their mouth is like white noise. You open your ears and eyes as wide as they can go and start to make out what they are telling you. It’s funny because you always did have a love for sounds. Sound has always been your subliminal savior. Like in music when someone says something so real and makes it sound so angelic. An escape.
The voice says, “I can’t get you out of the fishbowl, but I am here to remind you that you have the tools in that beautiful head of yours to break the fishbowl yourself. You have done it before, and you can do it again. When you come out on the other side, I will be here with open arms. I wish I could do all of this for you, but I can’t. The fishbowl cannot be broken from the outside; it must be done from within. But please know, I am standing here believing in you – even when you can’t see me – and loving you unconditionally, even at your lowest low.
I want to feel what I can of your pain and sometimes, I can take the burden with you too. I’ll even give you the silence that comes when two people understand each other. It is one of the most selfless things I can do. You think you are so small, but to me, you are the universe in E C S T A T I C M O T I O N.”
Inside the fishbowl, you feel inspired and loved. You start to see some things worth fighting for. You start to imagine a future where the seed that causes you pain is removed from your head. The roots that stem from it will turn to ash.
Someday, happiness will no longer be the impossible trophy. It will be there to stay for longer. One day, your soul will no longer feel like a reluctant meadow – it will be a
F O R E S T. You will realize that happiness is not something you have to look for in an empty meadow – it’s just there. In the rich forest of life, there is no shortage of happiness.