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.