I have been depressed. I will not say am. This is a six year ongoing illness that is formed itself into a personality trait, and now an uncomfortable, casual day to day topic.
I wish I could take the heaviness out of the words “I want to **** myself.” because they have never felt like a heavy sentence to me. They are words that string themselves through my brain at least twice a day and occasionally can be formulated into joke at my expense.
I tried to **** myself when I was twelve. It was a two week long ordeal. I was a hospital project for a week, an out of home charity case for a week, and after that, it became a running joke.
“Do you still have a few screws loose?”
“Are you still a basket case?”
“How many pills you think you could swallow?”
Over six years, I have become a great actor. I am best at holding my tongue, swallowing my spit when my throat is closing, and pretending like I am breathing steady. I often laugh in the face of my problems and I distance myself from people when I feel rocks sitting on my chest so they don’t smell the rot of a dying conscious. I have never been untruthful either. Just honest in a way that wears a theatrical mask and relinquishes an audience from an awkward state of “wow, I’m really sorry.”
But some nights are the farthest things from jokes.
Some nights are all choking up on words that don’t make any sense and some days are “nobody actually likes you.” Some days are not having enough energy to do laundry or dishes and then hating yourself because how could you, you’re so lazy. Most nights are complete self hatred and manic heaving into a wet pillow while your brother sleeps quietly in the next room.
The worst thing about depression is that it’s so uncomfortable. It’s become such an awkward conversation to me. It’s like coming out as something that nobody has ever seen before until it’s living in front of you. It taints everything I do with a feeling of disbelonging with the people that love me because I don’t believe that my depressed presence is comfortable enough for others.
But I am trying. Tomorrow morning, I will wake up to a sun that still shines, even if it is covered by clouds and I will still be depressed. I will pick up a book that I haven’t started, and wait in a sitting room full of other people who are emotionally sick. I will be the same person that I am, and have been. And I will know that right now, I am also trying very hard to become so much more.
An open letter about how I have been feeling and trying to describe mental illness in a way that makes sense to me.