It took nearly ten years of being miserable
and much too hard on myself,
but it’s been twelve months now and it’s safe to say
I’ve beat the devil inside me.
It happened when I decided it was time.
I was done living a life of despair,
claiming the world was out to get me.
I took a year.
I learned who I am and what my limits are,
I set boundaries when I had my low tides,
I didn’t beat myself up when I got sad,
I treated myself the way I’d treat an injured dog or child.
I was gentle, careful not to hurt further,
and now I’ve got all these coping skills.
I’ve got all these ways I can survive
without falling into a pit of depression yet again.
I’ve got a lot to show for it
but most of all,
I’m just glad I’m myself for what feels like the first time.
The wind blowing through my hair,
life feels effortless, if only for a moment.
I soak in the last warm days of the year,
I know soon they’ll be gone,
and gone with it will be your smile,
I lose two beautiful things in the winter.
So I hold on to this effortless moment,
try to ingrain it in my memory
for those dark days when the sun won’t come.
I can remember the way you smile at me,
and I’m convinced the sun shines for you.
Window slightly cracked,
a cool breeze passes
and I awake.
The smell of dew
and birds chirping
make me feel something
I haven’t felt in a while.
I never wake up this early,
but my window outlooks the east
and I can see the sun rising-
almost enough to keep me awake.
I haven’t written in a month,
it’s been a tough summer,
but there’s something about
cool summer mornings.
I don’t feel so broken.
Sitting in a dimly lit room,
the light went out a week ago
and it’s rainy and foggy today.
The rain carries from outside
to deep within my soul,
creating puddles in my chest,
a type of flooding only possible
when it’s rained relentlessly for weeks.
Doctors and meteorologists
don’t know when the rain will stop,
but they assure us it will.
It’s a strange comfort when
you know the rain will end,
but you have no idea when.
It’ll come unexpected,
you won’t be sure at first.
“Is that the sun
peering through the clouds?”
And it is.
And it is beautiful.
It’s warm now for the first time
in a long time.
I wasn’t sure winter would ever end,
but it did now.
Now it’s warm nights and sunny mornings,
as the trees bloom all around me.
I’ve never known joy,
at least not like I know it now,
but I know it now.
I catch myself before it’s too late. It’s probably a talent. I catch myself thinking, “stupid, stupid, stupid” because I forgot to do that one thing I said I would do. Mid self deprecating thought I stop and go, “hey, maybe that’s too harsh.”
I find myself doing this all too often, and it usually is a sign that I’m falling into a pit of depression yet again. If I catch myself soon enough, I can manage to escape that deep, dark pit of emotional turmoil that is a depressive episode and continue on as a normal human. Sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit, I don’t realize it until I’m a month deep, surrounded by isolation and self-destructive tendencies.
I find myself laying on my floor at 1 am, lights off, listening to a playlist of mopey songs singing about how terrible everything in their lives are. It’s usually in a moment like this that I come to the realization of, “oh, right. I’m depressed again.”
I’ve been down so many times, I know how to deal with it. When you’ve been depressed for nearly a decade, coming out of a depressive episode becomes a regular practice. Everyone’s brain works differently, but for me that’s usually taking a day or two for myself. I’ll do whatever it is I want to do that day and not feel guilty for it. Because once you’re that deep in it, you should not feel guilty for taking a day to just watch your favorite feel-good show on Netflix or sit outside with a cup of tea and watch the wind blow through the trees.
Coming out of it isn’t always a pretty sight, either. It takes time, just like it took time to fall into it. I’ll catch myself along the way isolating or overreacting and I just take a step back and rewire my brain into Positivity Mode again.
There’s something beautiful about a big open field; I used to dream about them. The endless green grass, wild flowers growing arbitrarily, wandering around them aimlessly. It’s a kind of calm bliss only achievable in a big open field, unaccompanied on a sunlit day. Maybe it’s something to do with how I spent my childhood, often around fields of lush grass and the soft sound of people just out of sight. Maybe that’s why I have such an affinity for them, they bring back fond memories from a time I only vaguely remember.
A gentle breeze passes, I feel sempiternal, unbreakable, invincible. Laying in the grass, I listen to the birds sing, the faint sounds of cars and people, just far enough away to not be bothersome, but still close enough so I don’t feel alone. I’m at peace, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.