Many people who experience depression, including myself, struggle to find the language to describe their experiences. When words such as “tired,” “sad,” or “numb” no longer do their experience justice, some people resort to personifying depression. Constantly does just that.
Constantly contains very few words. Instead, it’s fueled by images, like a graphic novel or comic, with snippets of poetry throughout. It follows a day in the life of a young woman who is persistently pulled back by a dark creature every time she seems to gain some momentum. As she wakes up, as she gets dressed, as she tries to move on with her day, wraith-like hands send her tumbling down into darkness.
Depression makes every little task ten times more difficult, and while Constantly provides an accurate portrayal of depression, I found myself wishing it was longer. It was a startlingly quick read, which seemed to undermine the themes of sadness, sluggishness, and the loss of time and energy. I wanted to sit with the protagonist a bit longer and linger in the darkness with her.
Constantly resonated with me despite its length, but this nuanced portrayal may not do the same for readers who haven’t experienced depression, as it is such a unique experience. But for those who have, the book will undoubtedly hit home. Each person’s experience with depression may be nuanced, but Constantly manages to touch on the more universal parts of the illness. With so few words, it relies on a reader’s ability to empathize with the imagery. That may be the very thing that allows so many to resonate with the work: it truly shows the experience rather than explains it.
|Page Count||48 pages|
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