One February morning I woke up and auto-piloted my way through getting ready, through work, through the evening with my husband, and finally I auto-piloted myself to bed as I took an Advil pm and passed out. I went on like this for another four months.
In March, I asked myself “who do you want to be?” It was my first semester of grad school, after two under-grad degrees and thousands of dollars of debt, and I didn’t feel an ounce of passion. I thought of my job and my schooling, and neither sparked a fire in me (get used to all the song puns, I bet there will be more in this post). I was terrified. “What if I don’t have a purpose?” I would ask people with careers, “How did you know what you wanted to be?” and they would say, “Well — I’m just really good at this.” Well shit, “I’m not really good at anything,” I thought. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m mediocre at a lot of things, I pick things up quickly, and I’m not dull by any means… but I’m not excelling at a specific trade either. What if I wasn’t meant to make a difference in the world? I’ve lived my life never wanting to waste a moment, yet it felt like all I had were wasted years. March was a rough month, in March I forgot what drove me.
In April, my father refused to eat or get out of bed for three days straight, finally telling my mother and me that he wanted to die. After a sleepless night where I called every psych ward in the area to see if someone could come evaluate and help my father, I had to make the call to involve the police. A young cop came to our house, and tried to get my father to get out of bed and go to the hospital — to say that went over poorly, would be THE understatement of 2017. My father got into a physical altercation with the cop, where he tried to remove the cops gun and shoot himself. Another cop came and slammed my dad to the ground, where they handcuffed and dragged him into a cop car, where they left him for half an hour. My dad had withered away to nothing in just a few short days, he was skin and bones (see told you, song pun). After that half hour, the EMTs arrived, put him in a straight jacket, and later sedated him. Meanwhile, my husband hugged me in the driveway as I sobbed the hardest I have in my 24 years of life. At the ER he threw my mother and me out of his room, yelling that he never wanted to see me again and I was dead to him. My father spent nine days in a psych ward. For the first three days he could not walk and he barely spoke or ate. For 13 days I barely ate or slept, and cried my weight in tears (almost). I thought I’d never be myself again. My dad later forgave me, but nothing has been the same since. April was a rough month, in April I forgot what being unconditionally loved was like.
In May, I continued being physically present in my life, but no one who spoke to me was actually speaking to Isaidys. They were speaking to a husk of her. I was an empty vessel that was floating away from everyone and everything I loved, including myself. I forgot what it was like to listen to music, even though it played in my car on the way to work everyday. I forgot what my husbands lips felt like, even though I kissed them everyday. I forgot what it felt like to be excited, even though I portrayed it everyday around my friends and family. I couldn’t feel my face and it was becoming harder to arrange it into the expressions people were expecting. I became less careful, less detail oriented, and less worried about “what might happen.” I became scared, so I called my doctor, we ran blood work, and all that showed was that my insides too were jumbled — it wasn’t just my head. My lupus was flaring up, and getting out of bed had become difficult with stiff joints and a burdensome mind. Still, the news didn’t hit me hard, it was nice to know everything matched on the inside. May proved to be a rough month, in May I forgot what it felt like to desire a better life.
In June, I was starting to get used to my new way of living. One night, my husband came home to a fucking mess of a wife. I laid in bed and wept. I wept for what happened to me in February, because I couldn’t remember the exact day or reason I started to lose myself. I wept for the girl who lost her way in March. I wept for what happened to my family in April. I wept for the girl who completely lost her way in May, and had no desire to pull out a map and find her way back. In June, I admitted, out-loud, to not caring if I lived or died. In June, I hit my own rock bottom and there I found a lit path leading me back to the girl I was in February. She’s not totally out of the woods, but she’s admitting that depression is her minds next door neighbor, and while it’s okay to be friendly to your neighbor, you don’t have to be best friends (honesty, I don’t even know if my neighbor is alive until her sex (life is) on fire on Saturday nights). I’m feeling better now. I recognize songs in the car, and sing along because it makes me happy. I laugh only when I think something is funny, I cry when I feel sad, and I’m back to being a bad liar who can’t arrange my face into emotions I’m not feeling. I’ve tripped and fallen in the few short days since I found my new path. Sometimes I catch myself thinking about my neighbor, and it takes me a minute to remember that I can kick ’em out and shut the door. June was a better month. In June, I found a way back to me.
I know this post was a long one, so thank you if you made it to the end (I hope my taste of music wasn’t too shit for you). I don’t know if I’ll ever have my thoughts and feelings completely under control, but for now, I’m happy to enjoy two piña coladas with the man I love most by my side as we take another trip around the sun (laying them on thick at the end, eh?). You might find that depression is also your neighbor, or your girlfriend/boyfriend’s neighbor, maybe it’s your mom’s or dad’s neighbor, that little son of a bitch is everywhere — but eventually all crappy tenants get evicted. I wish you the best of luck and if you find yourself stumbling down a path similar to mine — reach out. If you need a friend, sometimes a stranger is the perfect match to help you chase away today’s blues. In the meantime, I’ll be taking one step at a time, there’s no need to rush…