I am so full and so empty
I fill my pockets with stones
and watch the scale tick tick tick to the right
I paint my face to avoid looking myself in the eye
I am a skeleton inside folds of skin
that I coat lovingly with cocoa butter
willing my own softness to seep back in
I look at old photographs and don’t recognize that girl
cheekbones lifted high in a colgate smile
eyes crinkled at the corners, shut against brilliant sun
skin summer smooth
I wonder when I slipped into her body
and where my own body has gone off to
My soul is so tired.
Like the tree in my front yard that was struck by lightning
it creaks in the wind, just barely standing, constantly threatening to fall.
It asks me from it’s curled up ball in a dark corner
“when can I go home?”
and I know it doesn’t mean when are we going home to the tree struck by lightning
and the great windowed eyes of a house that feel like I don’t belong there.
I know it means that it’s tired and dragging through dirty watercolor
water days just isn’t doing it anymore.
I saw a shooting star for the first time last week and I didn’t know what to wish for
because I couldn’t remember what the point of hope was.
My therapist asks me how I’m feeling
but that’s a really hard question to answer when you don’t
feel anything at all anymore.
See, somewhere along the way I forgot what it was to be me without the capital D
depression. It’s so easy to let it be my personality instead,
like slipping on a wool sweater that you hate because it’s so itchy
and you know you’ll be scratching all night but hey,
who cares? You’ll blend in with the wallpaper and someone will bump into you saying
“oops, sorry, didn’t see you there”
and you’ll realize your presence and your absence have the equal effect
of absolutely nothing.
Somewhere along the way I forgot how to ask for love.
I forgot how to unfold rose petals under my eye lids
and lap the moonlight from dreams I can never remember.
I forgot how to smile with the songbirds and grab your hand in the sunshine
that I can’t see through the blindfold.
The world is so focused on telling me that I matter
but the only thing inconsequential here is me.
I can tell by the way the wind blows regardless of if I see it
and the way my voice crumbles but no one notices because
I’m hardly there anyway
and the way passersby’s eyes slide right over me.
I can’t remember the last time I was content
and I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.
It means I’m not done yet.
I may be nothing now. A butterfly still caught in the cocoon,
a half-told story, a sad girl sitting in cold bathwater but bathing in candlelight,
a tomorrow that isn’t promised.
I’m not promised.
But I’m not done yet.
My depression settles like a blanket over my head,
warm and suffocating and familiar. Some days,
it slinks around behind my brain, hiding
from the sun of the good days. Other days,
it sits in my skull like a stone, daring me
to smile, lest it remind me no one cares,
Today, it hangs over my head, a darkened room
only lit by the splinter of light carving a path
from the hallway.
Today, I am too hot and too cold all at once.
Today, I am too much and nothing at all.
They say if you don’t feel like quitting
then your dreams aren’t big enough,
and lately my only dream
has been about breathing.
Top three questions every person with depression hates being asked: Why are you sad? What’s wrong with you? Why are you mad at me?
I’m not sad so much as feeling nothing at all but that’s hard to say when I can’t peel the frown from my lips long enough to remind you I love you.
Nothing is wrong with me, unless of course of you count the fact that I’ve forgotten what it means to be a person. I’ve forgotten what words are supposed to taste like and what a smile is supposed to feel like. I don’t remember what I like to do because these days I really like staring at the ceiling in the dark and watching the colored hallucinations fly across the ceiling. But I wouldn’t say I enjoy that so much as its the one thing I feel good at.
I’m mad at you because you are so beautiful and so good and I’ve forgotten how to love you. I love to look at your eyelashes when you sleep. I watch the way your eyes move behind your eyelids and I imagine that I am somewhere lovely with you. So, I’m not so much mad at you as I’m mad at myself for being this anchor that drags you to the bottom of the ocean. I’m mad at myself because I’m drowning you in my own void but I can’t stop. I’m mad because I can’t remember how I used to show you I love you.