People have actually asked me which I'd rather lose, my sight or my hearing. They haven't got the shallowest clue that is nothing compared to losing the memory of what you've seen and heard. It's so easy to boil a what if quandary down to metaphor and trite answers.
My strongest drive that keeps me running at full speed is the fear of losing it all over again before I'm finished. I don't fear the cave any more, or the dark, or the silence. I fear being alone with myself with nothing else inside of me to remember that I loved something, or had joy, or hope. I've been there. No pain or sadness that you could list off that you've ever gone through can be worse than being alone in the dark without being able to remember what it ever felt like to care about anything.
I know what trying to hold onto that light in that other post is all about. Even when I could see nothing but the dark I could still remember that I once saw it. Even when I didn't believe I really saw it because it got so dark, I still wanted to see it whether it was ever really there or not. If it turned out I was mistaken and the light wasn't real, then I figured I could create it for myself. What I didn't count on was losing the memory of even wanting to see it. That isn't the kind of dark that you're afraid to move around in because you might bump into something scary and horrible that you can't see, but the kind of dark that holds you in a grip, like being buried alive in tar, and it's hard to move or breathe and you can't even believe existence is real at all. Those are the times you are too terrified to even fall asleep in case you stop existing if you let go. There are times I've begged Anyone to hold on to me while I'm falling asleep because I'm too tiny to hang onto myself.
That is depression. Not very many people I've run into are brave enough (maybe it's more a desperate kick) to extend themselves into the verbal commitment of describing it beyond what sounds like a pity party, but this response is because I found another rare one who really can.
I decided some time ago that being alone in the dark is an illusion that some of us must walk through. I don't think it's real, but I don't think most of what we muddle through every day in life is real, either. I've spent hundreds of hours thinking about reality and why we're here, how can we possibly even exist and what's the point, and what if Plato is right and words really do come from something more real than this reality that we think we're in? But not believing any of this is real doesn't make it any easier. I want it to be real. I want so badly for something to be real that I chew on the dark like a starving animal chews on a bone. And if this all turns out not to be real, I will shred the nothingness with my desire until all that darkness blows up into a spectacular feast of color. If color is just a dream I had once, then it's a dream that will explode with a vengeance.
I have some really bad days. I don't share them. No one knows what I'm really thinking most of the time. For some people, the hardest part is coming out of the dark because they can't see the light. For me the hardest thing is scraping the dark off me so it won't put the light back out. Maybe I can't see the light for myself, but I've been told more than once that I glow in the dark now. I'm wondering if maybe the only way we can start to glow like that is to lose being able to see the light.
I really like the song about the fireflies.