How Annihilation Nails the Complex Reality of Depression

Let’s talk about what it means to destroy yourself.

In the relatively short time I’ve been alive, I have made an art out self-destruction. I’ve placed myself in frightening situations just to feel something, anything but the crushing depression that ten rewires my life. I’ve sought oblivion at the bottom the bottle and in the arms a rakish stranger. I’ve lost count the suicide notes I’ve written, the attempts I’ve planned. If pressed, I’d say I learned the art self-destruction from my mother. She would blow up her life — financially, pressionally, romantically — in ways that meant my brother and I became collateral damage, forced to adapt amid the wreckage in order to survive. It’s also a matter misfiring brain chemistry that comes with having bipolar disorder type II. It’s become a way being, a prism through which I’ve written the narrative my life. Cinema has struggled to capture the texture and complexity this experience, especially when it centers on women. Perhaps this is why Annihilation feels like such a revelation.