I wear it like a tattoo in a law firm. No one can see it but that bitch is still there. I call it “casually depressed” because I live in between the depression that I’d become so familiar with and this new, evolved depression laced with a liberal sprinkling of anxiety. I am not in denial. I do not lie to myself. I lie to others about my mood swings and claim that I am a homebody. I am maybe, half homebody, but now my whole person belongs to mental illness.
This is not sadness. This is the feeling of being broken and invisible of being one or two or three or five different people and none of them are the ones you’d imagine you’d grow up to be. I am hiding because people do not understand. I am hiding because I do not wish to explain myself over and over again. I am hiding because I was taught to hide. I am hiding because I have always been good at hiding.
I am tired. I feel it in my bones. I feel it in the way my back aches when I am awake. I feel it when my favorite TV shows no longer hold interest for me…and yet I always seek them out, hoping for a spark of something lost.
I am capable of feeling happiness…and it is fleeting. I enjoy my friends…and go months without seeing or speaking to some of them. A couple I talk to everyday. I do not know if it is more for their sake or my own, just to feel like I have one person who understands.
I no longer belong to my mother. I am not the child she asked for, but the one that she received. I’m sure she’s disappointed. I know my father is.
I have hobbies. I have taken up cooking and gardening. I now know it is because I feel more useful taking care of others and gives me some small purpose for existing.
I can eat now without getting disgusted with myself… most of the time. Though I am more overweight than I’ve ever been, I still blush when people tell me I’m beautiful. I guess beauty can be a distraction. Most days, I do not feel beautiful. I feel unimportant and lost and I am flailing.
I am some place between “I want to make something of myself” and “Maybe I’ll go to sleep one night and just not wake up” and “Blaaaaah”. Where is my passion for life? Have I sacrificed it to dreaming? To hard work? To “tomorrow will be better”? To next week, next month, next year? I have become a prisoner to disinterest. Daily life is filled with little moments of things I have forced myself to enjoy, desperate to be lost to passion once again, but things are not the same.
Perhaps it is a thing to be coddled by too much hard work. To have fallen in love with your passions and the obsession to live off of doing what you love. Perhaps that is insanity itself. Can one be of sound mind and believe in your power to craft worlds and build people by knitting together words and breathing your magic onto them? Is that insanity? To think that you can create something beautiful out of nothing?
I am in a place I don’t belong, but I don’t feel like I belong anywhere. Maybe that is having it all. I am not a nomad, yet, still I cannot put down roots. I refuse to attach myself to the ground.
I feel it most when I think about it, when I obsess over it and nitpick at it, dissect it, pull it apart, and put it back together. Sometimes my anxiety and my depression attack each other. They are hostile and I am always caught in the middle of their war. I cannot choose sides for depression weighs me down daily while anxiety swoops in when I am not expecting her and sets everything on fire. Depression tells me not to run from fires. Anxiety yells that I’m going to be devoured by flames. Depression cares about nothing. Anxiety doesn’t want to be burned.
Yes, I count my worth in dollars. This is Earth. I thought that’s what we were all doing. Right now, I am worth a pair of nice boots. Tomorrow, I will probably be worth a toothbrush. So people can either walk on me or use me to fight plaque. The dream is draining me.
Did I mention I have hobbies? Or…the hobbies have me.
I am in love with my depression. He’s the most faithful, abusive relationship I’ve ever had. We’re together all the time. I doubt he’ll ever leave me.
They say creative people need goals and organization to be successful. This equation has been proven false. You need goals, organization, motivation, and luck. I only have two of those.
I am a liar. I tell a lie at least once a week and I no longer feel bad about it. Honesty doesn’t pay. That is the American way.
And sleep!! Oh blissful, peace-giving sleep, is no longer safe. Sleep is where the nightmares come. No, not everyday, but often enough to remind me that I do not matter.
I am melting away. I am standing still. I am, both, here and nowhere. I am empty and full. I am who I am and no one that I volunteered to be. I am weak and strong, giving, but inflexible. I am complex and confused. I am depression and anxiety.
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