The last year has been hard for me. I have glimmers of myself. I have hours each day when I can smile. Some days I come out of the fog and feel the terrific relief from coming out of the underwater of depression or whatever it is that haunts me.
I struggle through the day until sunshine comes back. Sometimes I get my child off to school and then go back to bed until she comes home. When my husband travels I feel relief that I can hide without shame, but the shame is still there. But I know a part of me remains because I miss them when they’re gone, and if I can feel that then I know I’m still alive.
It seems strange. How sometimes I can be normal and functional and my head and body will let me live like people are supposed to live, and then the next day I’ll plunge back into that halfway space where I’m asleep, either physically or emotionally. I remind myself that depression lies…that I’ll come back again. That the hollowness is temporary and could disappear any moment. I kill the day with sleep. I struggle to write, feeling such incredible relief on those days when my head works again and can put words together in a way that makes sense to anyone other than me. I write small notes to myself for the book I’ll finish when the hungry ghost that lives inside me is full, or spent…whatever she needs to do to leave.
And when I can’t write my words on the paper I draw them by hand…symbols and images and strange things from dreams. I draw and erase and draw and erase, and make and unmake myself. I hunch over my sketch book and find myself leaving images to prove I was here…even when I’m scared that I’ve gone missing.
I’m still here, even when I’m not me. I’m still me even when I come out of this spell. I’m me. And I am unpredictable even to myself.
I’m still alive in here.