Short Essay: "A Life in Grey" by Renee O'Connor

How do I begin this tale other than to say this is the story of my life in grey. Seems I've become as dysfunctional as the world of which I came. I think my life started like many others I know, but it somehow became this twisted pile, like a pile of scrap metal rusting in the rain and snow.

I don't think I ever thought what my life would be like in my 40's. Honestly I never thought I'd live this long. So now the next chapter of my grey life unfolds, with more uncertainty than the last. To a certain degree it has become a test of patience. How much more of this slow ride down can I go? I think I have become accustomed to the sorrow that follows me, as close as my shadow, never far behind, always there, sometimes in front of me, other times just a faint darkness. I don't think I can recall a time when I haven't had a sense of depression. Seems foreign to me when people say they don't know what depression feels like. How can they not know, doesn't this shadow follow everyone? 

If I was a different person I might have given up this struggle. I know I thought of ways to end it many, many times. But I don't know how not to fight. It's not that I look forward to the future. It's more that I can't quit. I can't give up, all I really know is how to fight, fight for the right to be me, even if it is grey.

I tell myself often, daily, that I am worth this space I occupy, that I matter. That in some small way I have left an imprint on the world. I try to be a person of my word, speaking with conviction, always having the appearance of strength. I'm sure it appears more as negativity and anger. But it protects me, like a suit of armor, rusted and dented, but still there.

My one true wish is that maybe, someone will not have to walk this road, if they hear of my travel. That in some small way this tale can help someone shine, shine like a new brass button. Writing this is going to be one of the hardest things I've done. To admit all my flaws and fears....to expose my pink underbelly, to remove the mask...to put a spot light on the shadow.

When it all comes out, will this still be a life in grey?

Renee O'Connor is a writer from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 


My name is Renee, I've been writing most of my life. Most of my words are dark. My intention is to raise awareness about depression, and to let others know that they are not alone. That you can find strength even in the darkest places.

On Their Work: 

This piece is my thoughts and feelings of my life, the first of many.

On Creators: 

You are not alone! Sharing my words helps give me strength and hopefully helps others! Art is an extension of your heart and soul, honest expression. It is your imprint on the world.