Let’s Get Personal

Sometimes you have words worth writing down every day for months at a time. Sometimes you can’t even open a word document for a month and a half. Sometimes you tell yourself you’re doing fine and you’re getting by despite every little task feeling like trying to push a boulder up a mountain. Sometimes you tell yourself and your friends that you’re happy and you are actually better off without him, like, you can’t even believe how dumb you were being. Thank GOD it only lasted five months. To the day- did I mention that? It happened on the fifth. Oh, I did mention it? Sorry, it gets hard to remember what I said sometimes. Yeah, no I’ve been getting sleep. I mean, maybe not enough, but I’m getting everything done. Haven’t called out of work yet. They’re actually really happy with how I’m fitting in there. Yeah. It’s exciting.

Sometimes you stop to think about how you’re doing. Like, how you’re really, truly doing. And it scares you so much you start listing the accomplishments you’ve made recently. You realize how easy it is to convince people you’re Happy and you’re Doing So Good, like You Should Write A Book On How You Got Over Your Depression. If Everyone Did What You’re Doing, I Think We’d All Be So Much Happier.

And sometimes you are doing good. Comparably, you’re doing a million times better. Side-by-side to your younger self? Unrecognizable. And you take pride in that. But sometimes your mood dips and a twinge of guilt takes up residence in your chest. You worry the worst isn’t actually over yet and this was just one long moment of clarity.

And as the years go on, you realize that might just be a part of depression. All the coping skills in the world and all the reworking thoughts can’t take it away. There will still be bad days and you might not get out of bed until 5 sometimes. And that’s okay. Because you’ve been through this before and you know the routine: feel bad until you don’t anymore and try not to ruin your whole life in the process. And you’ve gotten so good at not ruining everything.

to an old friend: a letter I’ll never send

I remember getting mad at you for things you couldn’t control. I was so naive back then and so were you. I remember when you told me you couldn’t be there for me and I took it personal. I realized later that it wasn’t personal, but the way you treated me made it feel like it was. I was an afterthought in your day, and you could never care for me the way I needed. The way anyone needed. I was an inconvenience to you, and you taught me to keep my feelings to myself. Yet another thing I’m unlearning.

You were never an inconvenience to me, and that’s what made me bitter for a while. I cared for you, I cared for our friends. I was bad at showing it, sure, but you couldn’t deny the love was there. Or maybe you could, you always had this picture of me in your head. But it wasn’t me, it was someone else. Someone that looked like me but acted on their rage. Like I was out to get you. And maybe that wasn’t my fault, maybe that was your own inner demons telling you I was bad for you. Either way, we parted ways and I know it was for the best, but I can’t deny I miss it.

I don’t miss much, but I miss it. I don’t miss the arguments, I don’t miss the gaslighting, I don’t miss pushing the blame. But I miss the jokes, I miss the closeness. I’ve been alone so long; I can’t remember what it feels like to know someone else cares. I imagine it feels warm. I imagine it feels like a blanket that just came out of the dryer. I imagine it feels like the sun against my skin in the summer, and the wind against my face as I’m driving.

This isn’t a love letter; I don’t want you back. I don’t want any of our old friends back. I just want you to know I’m not angry anymore.

I want to be brave for you

I want to smile when it rains

I want to answer when you call.

I don’t want to live in fear,

it’ll be the death of me

but where do we go from here?

I’m trying,

but I’m tired of trying

and getting no results.

I want to be brave

like I was when I was ten.

I want to feel the wind against my skin

and not cower away.

I want to feel

again

I’m done with this complacency,

this everlasting loneliness.

it’s like they turned the lights out

and I can’t find the switch.

I want to be brave

for myself

so I can say I beat the demons in my head

I don’t want to be brave

for anyone else

because if I’m doing this for you

and you leave

what’s left to fight for?

I want to be strong

for myself

so I can look back

and smile when it rains.

Shipwrecked

There is a roaring ocean inside me.

It does let up from time to time,

but there are days I am left

shipwrecked and stranded.

It’s hard to see how it’ll all be okay

when I’m marooned on an island

in the ocean inside my chest,

but on I press

because what other option is there?


Easy

It was hard for a while

for a long, long while

then it was easy.

But it wasn’t that easy

to get to Easy.

It took years

long, insufferable years,

exhaustion, but persevering

and then it was easy.

The smile wasn’t

forced

anymore.

And there’s still bad days

there will always be bad days

but they don’t seem so bad

when I know

the good days will be back.


Nostalgia

I haven’t felt a single thing

and I worry I never will again.

What happened?

I used to be so lively,

nowadays I’d rather sit at home

than be with loved ones.

What happened?

It’s like a part of me died when you left.

I knew it would happen;

I knew from the start

and I did nothing to stop it.

What happened?

What happened to the person I once was?

I have a fondness for things from before,

things like games and music and pop culture

because it’s the only thing

that brings me closer

to who I was

before.


Getting Over It

It took nearly ten years of being miserable

and much too hard on myself,

but it’s been twelve months now and it’s safe to say

I’ve beat the devil inside me.

It happened when I decided it was time.

I was done living a life of despair,

claiming the world was out to get me.

I took a year.

I learned who I am and what my limits are,

I set boundaries when I had my low tides,

I didn’t beat myself up when I got sad,

I treated myself the way I’d treat an injured dog or child.

I was gentle, careful not to hurt further,

and now I’ve got all these coping skills.

I’ve got all these ways I can survive 

without falling into a pit of depression yet again.

I’ve got a lot to show for it

but most of all,

I’m just glad I’m myself for what feels like the first time.