It's a feeling of foreboding. You wake up in the morning, begin to stir and as your consciousness increases you sense that something is wrong. You can't isolate it or identify it. But it's an unpleasant presence that's in the air you breathe. You try to identify its source. But it's crafty. It's not about to let you win that easily. The foreboding lingers, grows stronger and begins to overtake you. You lie there and try to get a handle on what's hapening to you. You feel listless, lifeless, directionless, sad...small.
A sense of doom hangs over you. You wait to see if you fall off the cliff this time pushed over by your own presentient sense of dread. This melancholy has coexisted with you since your early teens. Even so, you barely know this part of yourself. It's a part of you that comes and goes with or without your permission. It has a mind and a will of its own. You do, however, expend considerable effort to keep the hound at bay.
You wonder if this is the legacy your mother left you. A kind woman who suffered her own life long battles with melancholy. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. But always bravely and always with everything she could muster.
Sometimes you go for for months or years without these tinges of indefinable sadness. You become confident and think you've won the war. But eventually you learn not to be lulled into a false sense of victory.
In spite of your temperament, you have won some of the skirmishes. And for that you're immensely grateful. The older you get, the more perspective you have and the more experience you posses about how your mind works. You've developed some tricks of the trade. Now when you feel the familiar melancholy overtaking your soul you fight to keep your head above water not allowing yourself to go with the flow that will pull you under. At some point, you will yourself to take that first step to break the grip your nemesis has on you and walk away toward a better life.