I have been teetering on the edge of the diving board, my feet dangling in the water, hands tucked underneath my legs, with a crooked grin revealing more than I dare ought to - the sick compulsion to dive regardless of consequence, to kick my feet and stir up waves, to leap or tumble - it does not matter - right into the midst of indifference and anger and hurt and so many other negative emotions that have become my pool, my life. I have spent years building little life rafts for myself to cling onto when I cannot hold back the floodgates, when the grey ocean tide threatens to churn me under current and force water into my lungs. And I have been strong, no doubt.
This time it’s different. This time I am taken back to the twelve year old who had absolutely no coping mechanisms and couldn’t understand why stressful situations were so hard for me that I wanted to hurt myself. I am a bit wiser, sure, and confrontations no longer send me into a tailspin, and I can walk with confidence and a smile plastered on eight layers thick, thick enough that the spots where the jagged edges bleed into my face have become unquestioningly believable. Everything I do is constructed, some sham to represent the calm underneath the surface, so no one suspects, but it’s really taking up all of the energy I have.
My lungs bear a burdensome weight in the morning, and the first breath is always the hardest. Shit, I woke up again. And I stare and blink back the emotion under my lower lids and fall back into the pillows, pulling my knees to my chest because I am totally unsure if I can get up today. As I gather the blankets towards me, I notice I am shivering - not because I am cold, but because I have become so anxious that my teeth chatter at the thought of how exhausting it will be to get through the next four hours. I think about all of the blessings in my life, all of the people who love me, and whom I love deeply, and I could never bring myself to suicide, but that does not stop me from laying there at times hoping that God will take me in the night, begging in raw desperation.
And yeah, the good does seem fucking cheap, like a consolation prize in a box of Cracker Jacks or a cheap metal toy made in China that falls apart before you can enjoy it. It makes me feel guilty for being given something that will prove so futile, for taking up some cosmic energy ray of positivity that I did not deserve, while at the same time fully cognizant of the fact that I move through the world unnoticed, with no one to share in the highs or lows as they happen. In many ways, that fact doesn’t really sadden me anymore; it makes me feel even less, like a salve applied to a wound to prevent infection.
I have heard people say that their depression is numbing, that they no longer feel, that their mind has rejected the ability to process any more blows and has simply shut down. But mine, whether it is depression or some other demon, has brought everything to the forefront. All of my soldiers are lined and ready for the firing squad. I feel everything, too much, all at once. I cannot shut off the constant barrage of emotion that suffocates me everywhere. I am not lying when I say that I am exhausted. I am just..so tired.
My world is color and light and beauty and promise and hope and dreams, a glass half full for the taking, but I see through a veil of black, my eyes cloaked in a dim twilight, struggling to focus on the fine outlines of the shapes and figures that move through my day. So I drink, or push it away, or release it tiny bit by tiny bit, but it does not make it lift. I have often been told that I can think myself out of it, will what is necessary into materialization, but what a cheap way to tell somebody that this is all a fabrication. With little doubt, I’ll be the first to say that it’s all my head. But… everything starts in the mind, and that does not make it any less real.
I am drowning and I just want someone to help me. To hug me. To tell me that they love me. What a foolish wish. All on my own, all on my own now..