An open letter to those who have dealt or tried or whichever with me during my depression and/or anxiety.
I wish I could stop. I hear that a lot. "Just stop." As if it were a switch I can turn on and off at my own will. If I could, I would've disabled that switch the minute I learned what the on was designed to do. If only I could stop if only I could
"Think positive" I hear that the most. I didn't think of that, nor did the twenty something people before you. As if I haven't dived into the deep end of positive affirmations for the riptide of negativity to pull me 20 times under. For every positive thought, my brain's defense brings up 20 reasons that the positivity isn't real or won't last, or my favorite, why do you even deserve to be positive.
I don't forget all the times you've said "people have it so much worse." I am so ungrateful for the roof over my head and the food I get to eat or the daily drinks I use to muffle the voices inside. I hate the privilege of having my friends and loved ones look at me through foggy lenses and lend me their advice. It comes from the bottom of your heart but it doesn't come from experience.
Oh and how can I forget how I'm acting like this out of attention. I promise if I wanted the attention, I would get it in a manner much more humorous instead of a pitiful pit stop of a parade I feel some of you think I am. I am not trying to guilt you or appeal to your pathos. I much prefer to evoke your happiness with jokes that mask the constant desire to not even exist.
Then it comes down to the people I've bared my mascara streamed, tear soaked, bare souled self to. I'm talking to you. The one who I know won't understand but I at least expect to be there. Because I know that when you only deal with it once a month it isn't a problem, take some asprin and put a ****** in and it's over before you know it. God forbid this curse drowns me for a week or two or three. I'm sorry to put a damper on your life. The one where you chant the positives and get on with it. You have the choice to leave. I don't.
I don't surrender to this illness. "I'm not a vicitm" I repeat constantly. I'm not trying to make up excuses as to why it's okay to act like this. I fight every day for a little breathing space, and sometimes I am consistently losing battles in this civil war for my own mind. I apologize that you bear the burdens of being on the front row sidelines of this imax screening of my life.
You see, when the anxiety is over, and the food I haven't eaten for a week is molded now, depression takes stage. Right on cue. A constant back to back showing for boys and girls, it's fun for the whole family. But even like the longest movies of our life, there are intermissions. I sometimes get to step outside the theatre and am reminded that it's still sunny outside, that there is a fresh breeze. I can hear my own thoughts for a moment and they aren't trying to **** me. I am reminded that I have people I love and who love me, despite every reason I have that they don't. I hold onto that feeling and submerge myself so when the next riptide pulls me under, I can somehow find myself at the surface.
Sometimes I resurface with new or stronger allies, and sometimes I lose them in the battle. Casualties of war. Those hurt the worst. The people I love the most, leaving me to find the surface alone. It's enough reason to start the next showing. Like that, I return to my stage, my battlefield, my diving board until the next intermission.