It dropped lower and lower. The weight of my forehead nearly rested upon the cushion as my body caved in around the tender air. I was sitting no more and found all of me in a curled cower.
The pressure pushed against my chest and both fatigue and failure inhaled without respite for exhale.
I was choking on life.
This is what it meant to finish another day. He opened the hours before me, so timidly unpacking a minute at a time, I parceled out my energy to see others, to meet requirements, to do right by a career and family, friends and a future.
After all, in breathing came life, in doing I proved I was alive.
But depression clung to my every step. It seeped into my pores and criss-crossed my face leaving hollow eyes and an unrelenting somber sheen. Life did not wait for me; no, it created a tide of expectations and a current of must dos.
The formula for joy alluded me and the season of sadness seared itself to my shoulders. My smile real enough to some and the shallow clear to others.
Earlier that day I shifted from flourescent lights to the crisp cold of the outdoors. I beheld a new ceiling, a canopy of heaven stretched over the snowy floor. I witnessed the creator kneel to kiss the earth. The sky wrenched itself into showing the sun. Colors and splays of nature beautiful enveloped me. Gasping in the frigid air, I stored life in my veins and could reflect hope for another moment in time.
Yet what about the time suicide asked me to play? When time took these three decades and reduced them to a single story of unworth which wrecked me as a kid and could dismantle me as an adult. Why did it look so alluring and okay? Why couldn’t I stop the lie it offered?
What about the time abuse took what was not to be detached from me? Each grievance never looking back and I was left to make sense of fighting my way to health and whole. Could I ever be healed from the shredding?
What about those who removed their love or favor when my presence clouded with something other than ease and light-hearted life? Why don’t I make sense to others and why does it always matter so much to me?
This week could not outdistance memories.
This week could not unhinge from the present.
This week a colleague laid his beloved wife to rest after a torment of days and a life journey with the demon of mental illness. This week a student could not stay where bridges were built and allies found. This week my husband had to carry the home and children grow up faster than innocence would ask. This week my friend could not conjour words from myself, a writer, when my own death attempt danced as memory and marker.
Yes, it dropped lower and lower. The weight of my forehead nearly rested upon the cushion as my body caved in around the tender air. I was sitting no more and found all of me in a curled cower.
In the choke of life, I felt removed from all I offer the community around me. Depression robs me. It thieves from many. Yet this I know, when strangle felt close, my lungs still filled. One more breath, one more day.
I can not do all of life the way I wish or take away others’ pain. I can not belong in all the ways an orphan girl is supposed to once adopted. I can not change the color of my skin or how I fit into people’s constructs. I can not unlearn my trauma or forget my twisting of perception.
But as sorrow lies near–I live
I do not know who will follow or who will listen, but my steady foundation of faith and the formation of friends and family remind me: be me to the world.
Who I am, whether small and in a ball, tired from the day or I am strong and tall knowing my purpose, I am alive.
LIVE with me.
One more day, friends. To tasks and talents, give what you can. Allow others to lend you hope when yours is low and depression is real.
Another day, yes, the light still shines.
With respect and deep sorrow for those near and far, recent and years gone by, who have lost a loved one to the grips of mental illness’ lying voice.
A song by VERIDIA shared to me by a friend–raw art https://youtu.be/hymuOXYAuwk
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