you know the type, always scribbling madly in her Emily notebook...
depression is being so empty inside that you peel back the scabs from scratches and scrapes, from burns (accidental and then not) because you need to know right now if there's anything underneath, anything at all. there is, and it's not pretty, but you won’t mind because depression is black and blue and deep gore red; even if you can’t feel the pain, it’s good to see it.
depression is being covered in a film that won’t wash away. it covers everything. it’s a taste in your mouth, sour and dry, like eating pennies. it's the taste of the morning after. it’s a smell in your hair and on your clothes; like an unwashed piercing, all oil and dead skin. you can scour your flesh till it bleeds, but baby, you’ll never be clean.
depression is being lonely. i have often been lonely. to feel otherwise, i have fallen into any available bed; the depressed will go with anyone. the depressed will also ask no questions. they are not interested in your long term career goals, most embarrassing moment, relationship with you mother, political affiliation. they want biting fingers, the weight of another person to seem greater than their own. they learn the dance steps and perform them without thinking; they rub skin and bone together trying to make fire, to get warm, to burn away.
depression is staying somewhere you shouldn’t because it’s easier than trying to leave. it’s lying to your friends because you know they really care about you, even though you don’t. it’s watching them discuss you on the edges of the room because they think your glassy eyes mean you’re not paying attention. it’s hearing them say they can’t deal with this anymore and wanting to scream, “me too, fuckers!” but then opening your mouth to only dry air coming out.
in summer depression is plucking all the hairs from your body one at a time because you lose yourself in it and like the sting. it’s digging holes in your spongy white flesh to get at that one hair, because if you get that one, that tiny black hair, everything else will be all right. it has to be, because depression is hanging your life on minutia.
it is also paralysis. it is telling yourself you could be happy if you really wanted to, and then trying, and realizing you don't know if you want to at all. what if, once i've taken tiny blue pills three times a day and talked about my childhood to successful people with expensive degrees and designer suits, it doesn't change a thing? even worse, what if it does? what if once this is gone, there is nothing left?
depression is staying quiet because you can’t explain why you want to cry, why you are choking on the rawness in your throat, like breathing hard, mouth open on a cold day. it's wishing for help but never getting any because you cannot spill yourself into someone else’s lap. and it's not that you haven't tried— you've leaked some of your darkness into the lives of others, but what did they do to deserve it? i mean, you, you must have done something. but them, they, other people... you don’t hear their reaction. you are distracted and frightened by the fact that where you thought there would be emptiness after you gave up some of yourself there is only more hurt, more black and blue and deep gore red.
depression is reliving. it is reliving because it is not actual living. the only place you go is deeper into yourself. it’s reliving every unwanted touch that i accepted because sometimes it’s easier to just lie there. it is reliving every afternoon of a childhood that sank into silence as i opened the door. which door? any. every. car door, kitchen door, classroom door, bedroom door.
it's every question asked i answered, but never really said a thing. there was nothing i could say. it is too hard to speak when your tongue is thick with hating your mouth.
depression is immediate. there is no future because every moment is a choice to open your eyes, walk into traffic, drink a coffee mug full of bleach. you don’t think about college applications, next month’s rent, quitting smoking to prevent cancer. you will smoke until you want to stop, because for all you know tomorrow you could decide to put a stop to it all, and then what’s one more day of cigarettes really?
depression is wanting to get up in the morning and be happy you did, to go to sleep looking forward to something— to anything. but instead it's waking to more depression. it's waking to distance, because depression is being just close enough to someone or something for the space between to really hurt.
it's writing something years ago and finding it one day and realizing that is just how you feel at that exact moment. and then having to finish the workday.