I feel like I’m not here.
But my body is.
The pain roaring beneath my skin, slicing through my organs, curdling in my stomach remind me that my body is here.
My body remembers Octobers past.
My grandfather’s birthday.
My father’s birthday.
Every one a reminder that I was seen at various times as an object, a servant, a plaything, daddy’s good little girl, the subject of grandpa’s “dirty old man” fantasies, a dress-up doll, a mistake, a burden, a problem, a cause of death.
None of these are me.
Growing up, no one saw ME.
Today I feel like I’m not here.
Maybe I don’t see me either.
This is what #depression sometimes looks like.
A heavy blanket over the brightness of my soul, threatening to smother it.
And though I know it can’t, I feel my light dim anyway.
Depression crawls into my dark thoughts and whispers, “No one cares. You’ll never be missed. You’re not contributing anything anyone wants. Why bother?”
Depression slows my thinking, my reactions, my body, my energy, until I can’t do anything other than the basic necessities and sometimes not even those.
Sometimes it brings along its cousins, anger and anxiety, to play in the empty spaces previously occupied by confidence and self-esteem.
Depression brings reinforcements while telling me I am alone.
It’s funny. I think the truth is the opposite.
But I can’t feel that right now.
I will again. Depression always leaves.
Until it accepts its defeat, I have no choice but to lay low like a bird in molt.
My old feathers have taken a beating. The new ones will be glorious, at least until they too are battle-scarred and depression peeks around the corner to see if I’m ready to go again.
I don’t want sympathy.
I don’t want hugs.
And all of the “good vibes only” people can take their vibes and put them where the sun doesn’t shine (unless they’re practicing perineum sunning).
I am not strong because I defeat depression, year after year, and especially most Octobers.
I am strong because I am willing to engage with it again and again.
I am strong because I often engage with it publicly.
I am strong because I see the value in even the most “negative” emotions and I am willing to hear what they have to say.
I know I am strong
but I don’t feel like it right now.
I don’t feel like I’m really here.
But my body is.
And it will house and protect my molting self until I’m ready to fly again.