I try to function, but my time is running on a dysfunctional clock. The clock is ticking too slowly; my seconds are longer than everybody else’s. No matter how I try to stay in the moment with them, they seem to be in the next minute already. My facial expressions take too long to form. The words come too slowly. My reactions are delayed. The air is thick and heavy, and I cannot move through it.
When I’m able to move, there is a part of me that is petrified to stop, for fear that I will not be able to get up again. My energy is so unpredictable. When I have it, it can be very difficult to decide what to do with it. I need to take care of the pets. There are so many bills to pay. Will I still have the energy to shower? Wash my face? Brush my teeth? Change my clothes? Take out the trash? Clean an area of my room? How long will the energy last? What task will give me the best chance of feeling better once completed? These questions plague me. Sometimes they paralyze me, and I do nothing before the energy evaporates. I then find myself collapsed on the bathroom floor for half an hour or more, struggling to find the energy that has gone. I will make it to the bedroom, and then lay on the bed for hours, still unable to find energy to move. I have studied countless ceilings, countless floors while laying prostrate on some surface. I find patterns. I count spots of uneven paint. My strings of thought are so frayed that I lose their ends constantly, and have to start from the beginning,
I don’t know how to explain this life to people. I don’t know how to show the dull grey of everything. The leaden weight that presses me towards the ground. I tell people that it is hard, and they tell me to change my outlook. Fuck that. How do I talk the colors into changing? How do I talk my body into feeling weightless? I’ve felt that way. I know it is possible to exist in a way that isn’t so hard. I remember when walking felt easy. I remember when I could feel the energy in my body, the desire to move and do things. I remember when the color palette of a sunrise was a painting that I could stare at forever. Colors are bland and oppressive now. The sun is glaring and rude. The forest is cold, dark, and frightening where it once was inviting and vibrant. Everything that my healthy self finds beautiful is still the same, but I am colorblind. I cannot talk myself into seeing it the way I used to. I do try.
I do not like my story. It is not the life I would have written by choice, for myself or for anyone else. I once had my heart broken by a man who thought he loved me, only to find my depression too stressful. I feel guilty for being such a terrible person, but at the time, I did find myself wishing that he would experience this degree of depression for himself for a while. A few weeks, perhaps. I would even have wished a month of this illness upon him when I was feeling particularly vengeful. But years of a life like mine…it would be a literal form of wishing someone would go to hell. Even in my darkest moments, I am not that evil. When I imagine my most feared hell, I picture one of two scenarios: either I would truly be burning in a pit of eternal fire, or I would simply be reliving this life repeatedly. Forever.
I want to experience a less awful version of this life. I know it can feel a gift. I know there is beauty and opportunity everywhere, and if only my mind worked better, I would be able to see. But I cannot see now. I am blind and broken.