Good Evening, Love. I hope you’re well; fitted with sunshine and a belly full of love.
I have been plagued with the ever saggy-eyed, lifeless friend Insomnia tonight. As you probably know, creative types are creatures of the night, which is where Insomnia lives. What a life it is to be chained to a brick of mud; painting our own sight with the tap-tap-tapping of plastic squares on a machine. I wouldn’t change any of it.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my history of depression. It seems to be another well acquainted confidant of the night. I can remember having dark, self-loathing thoughts as a child. I don’t know if it was a learned thing, or a gift for being born on a rainy, December Thursday.
You see, I should really dedicate most of my published works (including this blog) to my dear depression. Who better to be the most in tune with their feelings (and so out of tune with everything else)? Whenever I feel a little defeated or some sort of discouragement, I remind myself of a moment that was so crucial and pivotal. The key turning point that pushed me in the direction that inevitably lead me to this keyboard… and you.
I have always hated popcorn or decorated plaster ceilings. The house I was living in at the time had lazy swoops like someone was in a hurry to fill an order. I remember this, because I spent about an hour staring at it from the peel and stick flooring of the bathroom. I had lost any happiness that existed in my life and I was ridiculing myself for not having the courage to end the rest of it. I had no drive, no ambition to do so. I had thought myself a burden to everyone I knew. I had sought love from other people to fill a void, only to be rejected and turned away. Why was I so hard to love? I certainly didn’t deserve any of it, but someone could have been generous. Someone could have taken pity on me and donated a bit of their love, because I certainly didn’t have any for myself.
I lied there; hopeless and a dry well for tears. An unlovable coward who hid her agenda from her father who was just three rooms away. Something strange happened, though.
“No one is here.” A phrase that I had repeated to myself over and over. Initially a thought that I was lonely and no one cared. But somehow, the tone in my head changed.
No one is here.
No one is here.
No one is here.
I am the only one. I am here. No one else is here.
A revelation pushed me up from that awful green flooring. It straightened my spine and I pulled myself up from the edge of the sink, staring at my puffy, blue eyes. I must’ve stood there, examining my reflection for several minutes.
It was only me. No one else pulled me up from the floor. No one else was staring back in my reflection. No one else that I had to face when I woke up in the morning. What the hell was I doing? Why was I destroying the only thing I had left? The only thing I ever really had. It was mine. It was me. Only me.
I realized that it wasn’t cowardice that kept me from leaving this Earth. It was me. The one who was fighting to survive. The one who knew I had so much more to do than letting that darkness consume me. Letting it win.
“I like your freckles,” I said to myself with a slight giggle. I felt awkward saying something kind to myself. After the years of critiquing and criticizing every single little thing, I wanted to reject it. But I couldn’t. It was the one phrase that was going to save me.
I turned the knob to the door, went to the kitchen and made dinner for my dad. A few months later, I took an offer to move out of the state with my employer. I needed to leave. I was stuck in a dismal bubble where doors to leave didn’t often appear. I found a really old copy of Charlee while I packed up boxes from my childhood. I ran into Mrs. Fritts later that day. The Universe spoke. So, I left to rehabilitate. To rebuild myself in a city that was going through its own revival. I wrote my novel and finished the first draft before my dad passed. I published a few months later.
So, I’ll say this with a wince. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you, sweet Depression. I should dedicate it all to you. But I owe it all to my relentless, brave, courageous, wild Spirit.