I’m not there yet. I can’t see the lemonade. Or the tequila shots. All I can see is a truck full of lemons. All I can taste the bitter sting of loneliness and of disappointment on my lips, down the back of my throat. I have to remind myself to breathe at times, and other times the pain in my heart is so intense, I have to blow the air out, release the pressure, like you’d squeeze the air out of a beach ball at the end of summer.
I’ve never fallen victim to depression – sure as a teenager I went to see a shrink because of my ‘depression’, but I wasn’t medicated. In my early 20’s I went on anti-depressents for a while, but I didn’t like how numb it made me feel. That’s not me. I like to face myself head on.
Back then I decided to quit smoking at the same time, so I’d end up walking to the gym and exercising two, three times a day… just to keep my head busy, stay active. But this time I just feel numb. Tired.
So here I sit, so anxious I can’t bear to leave the house some days. Singing ‘The Hanging Tree’ to myself over and over to stop from collapsing in the supermarket because I want to scream, just run through it screaming. I’m not suicidal, I don’t want to kill myself but I visualise what it would be like slamming into the back of a truck, driving into the sea, just checking out, for a while. But I can’t because there are two little lives that depend on me, and no matter how many tears I fight back, no matter how many pillows I scream into, no matter how desperate I am for safe arms around me, I could never endanger them. Never hurt them.
I trust this will pass. Everyone has bad days, sad days, I guess this is that darkness before the dawn. Maybe when I get through this the healing can begin, and I can find a way forward. Maybe this pain is that final dying off before regeneration can begin.
And then one day maybe there’ll be beauty again. Maybe someone will see my soul again. Maybe I’ll be enough, for me.