There was so much fighting in that house it was a lot to take. And then I’d start to notice patterns of the way my parents would talk about their parents and it was the first sign of the cycle beginning. And I could never figure out what it was over. It would just start and explode with stones at the glass house and no one realized it. But my brother and I were called unfortunate names and at least for me, I took them with me until a couple of years ago when I finally somehow let it go. I knew I resented them growing up for certain things. Like, she shouldn’t have come to me to ask whether or not I felt they should get a divorce. Huh? That’s your question? Shit. “I don’t know,” I told her. That’s not between my mom and dad, that’s between your husband and you. But I could never get that question out of my mind. What DO I think? The fighting really had gotten that bad. There was always name calling to each other and to my brother and I. “How could you be SO stupid?” was one. “You’re helpless,” and “hopeless,” another. It was to the point that I was convinced I was stupid. Then when I was in high school both of them told me they had something to tell me when I got older. I had a feeling I knew what it was but it wasn’t my place yet. And it shouldn’t have been my place to choose who I was going to live with. They shouldn’t have declared divorce on my birthday. It got to the point where on one hand things were a great time, in a great family. And there were times where I felt like I was around the drill sergeant. I always knew when to talk and when to shut the hell up. Suddenly, I became my mother’s shoulder to cry on. It was a time I was so thankful to have my brother, though. Then, right as the depression was hitting, him and I got close but then pulled apart. The apart world, is where we’ve been ever since. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you miss someone until you realize you need the chance you once had to miss them in the first place. But I just want to scream that I’m not myself. To wait for me and when I come back you’ll see how different I can be when I’m normal again. I’m always impulsive, I’m sleepy and I think things that are harsher than what they should be. There’s things about depression that doesn’t go in a handbook. No one talks about the fact that you’re so lost that even when you have everything, it can feel like nothing. And my nothing has become my everything.
I’ve never had good self-confidence. Growing up I was always looked at as a little chubbier and was the tomboy, so I was always with the guys as well. Personally, I feel like I grew up like an ugly swan who simply came into her one at a certain point and now has lost that again. I mean, I had to have braces twice, luckily the headgear was at night, and was always watching my best girlfriends getting the boys attention, which I was fine with to a certain extent, but wasn’t overweight when some of the guys at school definitely noticed me more when I worked my ass off and lost 25lbs that was too much to lose. And I was too young at this point to realize that a lot of what your parent shows you, they endured as a child and a lot of what you endure, you may give off when you are a parent. Being asked to lose weight when you’re 11 and 12 years old can be confusing for the one being asked. I was too young to think about my weight then, even though I did anyways. But hearing that confirmed my idea that I must be ugly and I all of the sudden felt morbidly obese instead of with a few extra pounds. And later I’d come to realize how much pressure my mom’s mom put on her as a kid and how life really does come full circle. When I became 16 I grew tired of having extra weight so I decided to work out on top of my swim workout and looking back I see how unhealthy I was becoming. Weighing myself at least three times a day, if I were a pound up that day then I’d drink a ton of water to try and get it off. I felt like I was allergic to myself all of the sudden. But one guy made a comment that I was cute because I was losing weight and that was enough for me. So I put up with the allergies. Then one night I ate pie and regretted it so much I tried to get sick. It never happened but, the binge eating was there all the same and I didn’t see it like that at the time. Being a kid is hard enough, and I know everyone says that but it’s so true. If you start out your worst enemy it’s such a long tough walk over the bridge to being happy with what’s inside. Actually, that’s such a crock! Being happy with what’s inside, is huge but you really need acceptance of the whole self and that can be a lengthy process of understanding. Even as a little girl I was never happy with myself and just wanted to make everyone else feel good.
Running so I can tow the line,
always to say, “Hey I’m doing fine.”
It’s when you walk on by that water’s tide,
my only moment not to run and to hide,
From all of the things I hoard inside,
with depression before me,
the loneliest guide.
But all to well,
it was you who’d tell,
that within water’s surfaces,
that air you couldn’t smell,
duplicitly found for all to tell.
Within I who ye shall find,
once alone and not in the right mind.
Today is all that I have,
all the walking with a talk so sad.
I am and always will be
the fighter inside of a queen little b,
and when you see and I go blind,
always remember to pay me some mind.
In the thoughts from a brain unkind
you hold healthy and true in this thing called time.
Morbidity and death was all that I knew,
It’s my dream only now it’s coming true,
a pain if only you knew,
and all I want to say is I Love You.
They say there’s a devil inside of you. A devil inside to hide the night away, and to get away with murder is the devil we seek to know. To understand all that is I, I need to understand the demon before me. Is it just my inside voice, am I going crazy, or is crazy all of the things inside of me and my normalcy has been triumphantly strong but ready to break all the same? Like a vase, I shatter of glass. All of these pieces needing to be put back together but by one so unbalanced. I can’t seem to stop it’s fearful shaking hands to superglue me whole again. I seem strong, but I am so torn. So ready to break, so already broken and such a frail heart covered by the least amount of hope one could have. We walk around each day forcing ourselves to smile at each other but no one knows the truth of anything our steps make. So we keep walking only to hope again the next person we cross might give the necessary pleasantries. You look at my picture, I smile, and you can’t see what I see. Until you really look inside of the soul no one knows but the heart steadily gives away, will you see truth. Will you see it? Will it scare you? Does it already make you uncomfortable? My eyes that stare at you filled with the demon holding true. But I always used to be the happy one, how do I live within a shell of a shell of a shell of a shell of life. I ask myself, “Who am I supposed to tell about this?” Do I keep it as my secret? But I can’t. I don’t like lying and feel like I’m a walking liar to all truths people want to see in me. Also a walking failure….oh, wait there it is. My demon introduces itself. Do we all have one? I, to this day have no idea. Mine is incessant. Nonstop talking while every time I try and shut it up, it’s just egging it on to keep going. It makes me contemplate the worst of the worst. If I am the worst, then I should either live in the worst way, or go in the worst way. As long as I can find away to make it be the worst then I can have the authority to call it home. Then, I am allowed to be. Just let me be, that’s all I want. But that’s not good enough for the demon that breaks me. Nothing will be good enough to stop it. No place will ever be good enough. I, will never be good enough. Unless it is to shatter, then when something pierces my heart like glass will life seem fair. As long as I’m hurting, will everything seem even then.
Do you ever feel like the second you give something up you want it back? It seems like every time I’m over something, that’s when it’s just beginning. Or when something was a problem with not much resolution, my generation had to be the guinea pig’s. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I got my suffering when treatment was even an option but what’s it done for me? I’m forced to take all these medications that make me gain weight, and it seems like every time I have a problem I have to get a new diagnosis and a new pill to take. I was up beyond 13 at one point, and god forbid you go against what some of the dr.’s think. Because they’re the only ones that can do anything about it. They outrank everyone. But last I checked there were more mental health sufferers. 450 million to be exact. We’re learning to question all of these things in school and it’s quite infuriating looking back at what I’ve had to put up with and pay out of pocket for. So, after I was diagnosed all I wanted to do was hibernate and sleep but at the same time was battling insomnia all the same. It wasn’t my original doctor’s fault as he was doing what he’d been taught. He at least let me have a voice and would understand that I wasn’t stupid and if anyone is going to describe symptoms and know how it affects them, it’ll be the patients. I’ve been stereotyped because I’m a girl, because I’ve gained all this weight and because of what I suffer from. I’ve also been shut down because I was told to be proactive. But how can you be proactive alongside the thing that’s fighting for your demise. Society wants us to go into the doctor’s offices and tell them what we need. You find me a doctor that can put their pride away for that long, then you’ve got a deal. But after all of the doctors who shut me down, especially being I’m a nice easy going person, and yes, a woman, they think take it offensively when you’ve actually been able to muster up any “proactive” discussions. Family physician’s want you to go see a psychiatrist if you have something like depression. Psychiatrists can’t deal with general pain and I have a really bad back, so their battle begins. The family physician swears my back pain is depression related and my psychiatrist is the opposite. Quite frankly, I don’t believe any of them. If they wouldn’t be SO pill happy sometimes and would ask how you’re doing once in awhile, you might be able to let them know patterns that you observe. But any doctor that I’ve tried to voice anything with realizes they’re power position and uses it to intimidate you into even more of the problem. I had no idea how those medicines made me feel when my depression was at it’s worst, but I did notice things over time and was forced to go with it because we couldn’t handle the “What if?” And the what if, could be really bad, but isn’t that what responsible medicating is all about, and being able to work with your dr together? I thought and was told I had a chemical imbalance in my brain. So that’s how some people treat me, especially doctors…..as imbalanced. They seem to mistake that for stupidity though, and people don’t realize that I’m not. But I do notice, the way they treat me, and I do notice that medicine is not what they’re practicing…..it’s power. And, no one knows all of my diagnosis…but me. I’ve been diagnosed with so many things I may as well be radioactive. And with each new doctor all of my diagnosis change, and the doctor that comes after the one before isn’t sure of what I suffer from because they wonder if I should really have that many diagnosis, so they have to diagnose me all over again. What a cycle. It’s just this roller-coaster ride that I didn’t pay to get on, am terrified of riding, and would give my life savings if they’d just stop it and let me go. You’d think that all my suffering is just practice for the next doctor to see if they’ll diagnose me correctly. Practice for them and practice for me if I can get this thing called life. Everyday, it’s everyday that we practice. Being who we are, being who we want to be and being far away from the things that terrify us. But here I am, riding in this circle of life that’s going to slow and too fast all the same and it never stops. Each day I wake up and I practice. More trials and tribulations about being someone, or simply just being me.
It didn’t take me long to feel the unease of the first drink I’d ever had, or maybe I should say the ease of the first drink being it felt so good…too good to be honest. But being young and not knowing any better I kept up with it pretty well, too well I’d realize later. I hoped everyday that I wouldn’t wind up having a drinking problem, even from a younger age than I already was at 17. But that was one of the biggest problems was the denial of it all. For so long I didn’t want the signals I gave off of being the real scared me known until nighttime when I became the real drunk me and I’d forget about it. When they say you battle an addiction they are so right in it’s terms of battling. Everyday I’d wish that I wouldn’t drink that night only to not be able to handle being in my own skin without sleep until I’d relentlessly go for the six or 12 pack. When the party finally did end, and yes it had to, I felt about as horrible as my fears would allow in the years prior. It was always my secret battle that I never talked about because, as it seemed, everyone around me was always doing so well I had no idea where to fit in anymore. And that was the thing, I wasn’t me anymore. I was this girl whose priorities seemed to shift from school to drinking and that was all that I cared about in the next few years. I feel terrible about it now, because there’s not really a real sounding board for an alcoholic who feels alone all of the time and stubbornly pushes away the people who get in the way when intoxicated. No wonder I felt like people pushed me into the corner and walked on by, I practically forced them too. In looking back beyond the haze of the hangovers, you can really see the destruction alcohol can do especially over time and the things you had to be willing to forgo in order to keep up denial. I had some of the nicest friends that would take care of me on the nights I couldn’t drive which were adding up to be too many. Once the headache wears thin and you slowly come back to reality all people would see was my smiling face that hid all the secrets within. I had to get out of the denial but shame would bring me back into the ring time and time again. When you wake up every single day dreading the time that comes that you usually drink….people that don’t suffer from addictions have no idea how hard it is to get through 24 hours without your fix. I’d always thought mine was something attributed to growing pains, but the hidden secrets that ooze out of a bottle would come to my desires of just not feeling this way, too many a time. “Bored,” they would say. “You’re just bored,” enabling just the thing I’d want. And, “yes,” I thought. I was bored. But boredom is supposed to be fixed with something healthy to do, or anything to do that doesn’t require the shame shift time and time again. You shouldn’t feel guilty about the things you do when you’re bored, and my guilt was ever surmounting in all of the times I’d hear about my boredom, all the while knowing that one day I’d probably have to come to terms with the reality of the word addiction.
Go to the places where the water whispers sweet nothings as you watch. With just enough hope that time will pass faster than the previous seconds. Looking to the sky as the clouds take shape of all of your emotions. Suddenly, everything seems to revolve around the way you feel. Which people think that is what I want lately. For it all to revolve around me. Why would I want that? For attention? No. I don’t know what I’d do with a bunch of attention. I think I’d ask everyone to quiet down, actually. Everything’s too loud for me. But the silence inside my scars, to the steps I hardly take in a day because there’s no where to go is all I have left. The only reason I spoke of the depression was to teach people what I was going through. To try and help them. When I got exhausted of talking about it myself I realized, “If I am still talking about it then that means someone’s still not getting it,” or maybe no one was. It doesn’t matter anymore. Sometimes this loneliness can be unbearable though. The creaks in the floors and walls are what keep me company. Or music. Music notes float around my room bouncing around with the beat of song, I still smile. But not as much. I feel like I’m underwater, reaching for that last breath because that’s the only thing I know how to still do. But no one’s there to pull me up. I wonder if they’d even try. I’ve had so many suicide attempts that I really think that certain people want me to get it over with. I was worried that might happen. And I’m out of ideas of how to take my life. I wear these two rings, one representing the past and one the future. There’s supposed to be a third representing the present that I threw away because I’m never there. I’m always stuck in the past or dreaming for a better future and for the second I go back to the present it makes me think. Think of everything I’ve got to do, have done and yet to think about. It’s ok though, I smile. I smile with a glass shield over my eyes with the reverse support of glasses. These help me go into my daze, let me out to a place I desperately need but reluctantly go. If I were a nice man, would you show me a nice world? And if I were a temptress would you show me a world free or temptation or full of it? What about if I were just a girl? A girl in a complex world that can’t figure anything out. Would you help me? Or would you say something nice and turn to laugh because I deserve this horribly unfortunate disorder? And what if I had six disorders? My lucky number is seven so I’m sure I’m missing one. I used to think that if the world didn’t have to suffer this way then I was ok taking on all of these mental setbacks, if you will. Fuck that. It’s been over fifteen years and I want it gone. I’d do anything. Anything for a real smile. Anything but to not tear up as I lose another friend. Anything for what I used to be. Someone once wrote a letter to me saying I had wit, beauty and altruistic sincerity. But I’m lost, so far lost that all I do is sit here with my bit of hope. Hope that tomorrow might be better.
Letting someone down wasn’t supposed to be the plan today. And why does it feel like it’s happened everyday lately? I leave the room and if feels like sighs of relief behind me. Another discussion of my marathon man depressive disorder. I’ve lost so many that decided to walk toward the light of the sun in their escape from me and my doom. But, I can smile. I do smile. Especially when I greet people, “smile, so they won’t guess,” I tell myself. But a smile is different than the eyes and what shows from beneath them. I know your soul comes out of your eyes because all I see is judgement all of the time. And to think I thought I was getting better. That just wouldn’t be fair would it? If you have a bad day and say, “Story of my life,” then you think doom and dread would be your best friends right? No, best friends are for walking out on you because they’re tired of everything about you. Even the things they assume you to be like. I think in certain people’s minds I’ve developed into this terrible individual but in reality their mind is just looking for a way out of the friendship so they twist the reality a little to get out of having to commit to it. Really, people are just tired of the “Depression.” The thing I never talk about anymore, the frowns I never show, and the tears I don’t wipe off leaves them without a good enough reason to say, “I can’t handle it anymore.” Plus, they don’t want to look like the bad guy right? Who wants to say, oh well, she was depressed so I had to bail. No, but they CAN say, well, she really changed over the years and I don’t agree with certain things about her anymore. Cop out. I’m still the same girl. But I suppose I’m a worse friend now too. So, it can’t be all their fault. I heard that it’s a cop out to kill yourself. But a real cop out is what I see on a daily basis. People scurrying away for shelter in their depression free homes. I’m sorry, are you sick of hearing about my shit? Well, I’m sick of having it. Everyone’s looking for their reasons. I can see it in their soul. Maybe I don’t have one and that’s why it’s easy for people. Where would you be if someone close to you suffered? Would you be there? Are the words Best Friends Forever just broken promises? When you say you’d die for me, would you really, because you also said you were serious. I think I’m fending for myself on this life. And the worst part is that I feel more ashamed of myself and full of blame and guilt that I surpassed you even before the word depression. Ugh, that word! What it carries is unbelievable. In an unbelievable mind, from an unbelieving world, in an unbelievable girl, in an unbelieving heart to an unrelenting heart, we go on.
I was awake when you came in, the intruder I’d meet but never miss. With force you tried to teach your lesson, that you are stronger, meaner and quicker. But I’m a Tyson kinda fighter and I’ll try to keep you at bay as long as I can. I try to hit you away. But you’re relentless in life, you’re despicable in person and you are my future guilt and shame that I did not ask and do not deserve. You should’ve stayed away. I was uncomfortable with you from the get go, which is unsurprising among this anxiety everywhere I take. With your force you played a tricky hand I wasn’t ready for and all I could do was go with every instinct I knew to do, and that was to fight. But just like all else that ails me, your force became strengthened. Maybe I was your example, might in your lesson. You taught me about fairy tales failed. The goodness of a story interrupted by selfishness and greed. You’re mean, monster. You growled when I said no and took it as an applause leaving me there silenced in the end. Unable to boo, unable to scream, simply unable in everything that I tried to save. Relentless, you took me apart. Some people need to wear caution signs when they walk around this Earth because of their constant tricks. And with no magic, just dirty pool you took my soul in these moments. It felt like I’d cut myself clean as you ripped me apart. But at least I’d make it quick and painless. In your world pain is the trophy and ownership is the boss. Too bad you can’t own the girl already taken by the devil inside. My hatred will cease but you impeded in my success of it all and caused the tears another eve. I didn’t mean to ask for all the bad, I promise I didn’t. I think some can smell my weakness like meaty prey. Still in each morning I try to start over but realize this life needs to better itself also. There’s so much pain in this world that we all can see and complain about but are forced by triumphant will to keep in such misery. This was never meant to be my game. I was looking for something different but became complacent in despair and attempts for it all to hold still. I need more time to learn how to fight I suppose. But maybe I don’t. Maybe I’m really good at the ones who force themselves upon me in my plight to fight back, fight first and to find my power in a voice. On this night I was silenced, though. Silenced so much that in it’s heated degree the thermometer burst. I could say nothing. Nothing to him, nothing to me and not a peep in these outdoors where I’m supposed to scream.