when what is true isn’t what is real

It feels just like a normal hangover. I am puffy, guilty, thirsty, and desperately wishing that I could take back all of the things I said yesterday, even if I meant them. Being in therapy or talking to a psychiatrist on any day that isn’t One of Those Days makes me feel like a liar.

“No, I don’t have A Plan. No, I’m okay today. No, I don’t want to go to the hospital.”


But maybe I’ve gotten as far as I can go– or as far as I feel like going– without people knowing. My brain tells me that it is both a lie and a disgusting, hideous, you’re-a-stupid-piece-of-shit cry for attention to say that “I am not okay.” But I’m probably not okay. I’m sad all the time. I don’t want to do anything, but I would give anything I own to want to want to do something. I feel completely disconnected from anything that’s ever made me feel like me. I hate it, and sometimes it makes me wish I wasn’t here. Some days it’s really hard to imagine feeling the way I feel for another ten, twenty, thirty years, etc.

Depression is an asshole. My therapist reminds me every week that Depression isn’t Me. Depression is a liar. This whole dumb thing is a rollercoaster, and I’m not always at the bottom of the hill. Sometimes I’m breathless and exhilarated, clicking up that hill, impossibly thrilled at what’s about to come. And then there’s that half second of being literally on top of the world. There’s that view of the rest of the park right before that first amazing drop on Goliath. Everything is beautiful, and none of it can touch you, so none of it can hurt you. You are in the sky, and the sky has never needed you to be anything else. And then you let go. You trust that you are safe, and you drop and you are so grateful to be alive, because it is so incredible to be able to ride a rollercoaster. And it’s incredible to not ride rollercoasters! It’s incredible that you’re sitting on a bench in the sunshine, eating a funnel cake and trying to pick out your friends’ happy screams out of the general theme park cacophony. It’s incredible that you’re there.

I can’t conjure up much compassion for myself right now. At this present moment, I believe myself to be a mean, ugly, untalented asshole who has achieved love and friendship through deceit and manipulation. That’s just what I believe today. I don’t always think that. But I think it really hard today. There’s a piece of me that knows it isn’t real, but that doesn’t change how true it feels down in my bones.

I have a lot of compassion for you, though. I think you’re swell. It’s that funny hypocrisy of being able to say all the things to another person that you are incapable of saying to yourself.

So, I don’t know how you’re doing today. But this is what I think I would say to you.

Hey, buddy. Me too.

Then I would probably hold your hand, and ask you if you wanted to watch a superhero movie. I’ll bring all my stuffed animals. We can each cuddle our own walrus.

When the sun’s back out, and when you think your stomach can handle it, we’ll go ride the rollercoasters again.

Published by Dani

I like breakfast, marine mammals, Star Wars, comedy, the song "Dead Man's Party," and Halloween musical revues at theme parks. Let's be friends!

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