How Did I Get to the end of this year?

It was my birthday two days ago, and soon it will be a new year. Every birthday I reach, every new year I see, is sort of encouragement for the old me.

It’s a thing about depression: when the end of the day seems like it’s all up hill and the end of the week looks like you’ll never make it unless someone lifts you up and carries you on their back, years in the future may as well not exist.

Either your brain can’t convince of them, or you assume that you will have died by then.

I look back to the me from before, and she looks so surprised to see me. We’re about the same weight, but she looks so diminished. Her hair is relaxed and tamed, her shoulders are driven up to her ears, her eyes look around, never focusing on me, or any person, fix on the corner of the ceiling, the bump in the rug.

The smile I offer her, a smile that she hasn’t seen on her own face in a very long time-she is shocked.

I don’t want to lie to her, because not everything is good. Not even better, in a lot of places, but-it isn’t how it is for her now.

“I promise if you hold on-there are better things. Better days. Not everything is good. There are still days like today. But not as many. And there will be things that you thought you could never do. And there are so many more days than you think. More days than I thought. I can’t wait for you to see them.”

And now-for the first time in a long time-I look ahead, and instead of mountains so high that their peaks are mystery and cloud, there are paths, and hills, and forests of surprise. I know there will be days when facing those things will seem impossible.

But on those days, at least I can imagine the next one, and put my feet on the floor.




Budding Detachment

To quote Kingdom Hearts, ‘I’ve been having some weird thoughts lately.’

Except Sora was wondering if everything around him was real.

I’m wondering if I’m real.

Am I? I feel so detached from my body, from my own life, that I can’t get a grip on things. I am too tired.

I get bursts of energy, concentration, almost brilliance and the world is everything in my hands.

But the price I pay for those things are times like this. Exacerbated anxiety. Dullness. Fatigue.

The idea that I am a ghost in a machine, faulty programming. That a fully independent life may be impossible for me because the system I live in demands so much consistency, invulnerability to pain or failure, to run on a schedule and a pace that I can’t manage.

And I roll in my self loathing because I’m not perfect. My failings, comparing myself to people who are ordinary-if they can do it, why not me?

I am entirely aware that I am struggling with things that others don’t. That they don’t have a brain constantly struggling against them, dragging them down, occasionally suggesting that death is all that I am worth, sometimes loudly, sometimes to the point where hiding under my blankets is the safest place.

That doesn’t matter. Trapped in those sheets I remember feeling like the world was glittering, and I feel denied.

Like the woman who remembers that glittering world couldn’t possibly have been me.