a little hope at the lake

I don’t hate myself today and that feels worth cataloging:

Let me tell you about it, friend, if you’ll indulge me.

We’re at a lake. It is green and blue and beautiful here. We spent last evening drinking rum and singing karaoke. It was easy to sing, it was easy not to hate my imperfect voice. It was easy to laugh and to curl up on a couch and to eat another slice of pizza just because I wanted to taste more cheese and pineapple on my tongue.

It was easy to wake up this morning without dread already clawing at my guts. It was easy to slip into my blue dress and not hate the curve of my belly, the new-ish rolls of fat which are soft against the cerulean fabric. It was easy to hop downstairs and to get coffee started, because I knew I would be sharing it with my friends. It was easy to mix up flavored creamers and chocolate syrup and cinnamon dust and not worry that it wasn’t “perfect,” that it wasn’t EXACTLY WHAT I EXPECTED.

It has even been easy to work, because it is Friday, after all, and I still have stuff to do. It’s been easy to get cozy on the couch with my laptop and my playlists and to check my e-mail and to work on tasks. It does not hurt my stomach with the promise of failure, of being a disappointment. No, today my stomach is full of coffee and breakfast casserole and more pineapple, and I am settled. It is good. Nothing hurts today.

I hope later it is easy to write, to put pen to paper in the midst of my safe circle of friendship and to let words escape. I have deadlines coming up, but I am not concerned about them today. We’ll get there, we usually do. Today it even feels wonderful to have deadlines, because it means someone wanted my words. Maybe my words have value. Maybe I’m moving nearer to where I want to be than I thought I was. I feel so slow and still lately. I feel slow this morning too, but in a sweet, happy, turtle-on-a-log sort of way. I do not feel that I am moving backwards.

The depression is still there, always. It is a part of me, perhaps forever. But today I can recognize it and sit beside it and feed it coffee and breakfast casserole. Maggie made breakfast casserole, so we must be okay, is my reasoning.

The lake doesn’t last forever, but I am contending with the fact that I would have never made it to the lake without the more permanent fixtures of love and friendship. I am loved even when I am not at a lake. So, I suspect, are you, my heart.

It’s okay. I’m okay. We’re okay.

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