DEPRESSION by Donna Hairston

Two weeks ago, I ended up in a difficult situation. At the time I thought I handled it pretty well. Even when I went to therapy that Monday, I was convinced that I wasn’t bothered.

The next day, I didn’t leave the bed. The bathroom and kitchen were my only destinations. The day after that the same. Since I’ve been through this a million times, I knew what was coming.

A visit from The Monster.

You would think that I’d be able to fight him off by now. That I would have his death planned out. Nope. He’s a crafty bastard. He sneaks up on me. He wears nice clothes most times. Whispers sweet nothings. I drop my guard thinking he’s a friend. And then….

The bed is my bestie. Pajamas and ratty t-shirts become my uniforms. My hair is styled into a matted afro. Hygiene is basic and quick.

Mirrors avoided. Conversations muted.

Insomnia. Staring at the TV. Reading is limited to medicine bottles and commercials.

It’s like drowning. You’re paddling. People are screaming “STAND UP! JUST STAND UP!” They don’t know that the monster is holding your legs. The only thing you can do is lift your chin a little bit above the water.

Exhaustion. Sleep 12 hours and wake up exhausted. Sleep 3 hours and wake up zombie like.
Days run together. Time means nothing. Appointments are ignored. Parenthood is suspended. “Thank God my kids are older,” is what I whisper. I remember the days when they were younger and the monster visited. #sigh How am I still living?

“Get out of the house.“ Come by for a visit.“ Call a friend." Don’t they understand that all of those things are painful? That walking to the next room takes all of my strength?

No, I won’t tell them. “I’m doing ok. Thanks.” That’s my standard reply. “I’ll see you soon.” Yeah, right.

On the 11th day I left the house. Alone. I had to squint because the light shocked me. Maybe this is the beginning of his departure. Hope?

Nah. 30 minutes. He came with me. Followed me everywhere. I think he even drove me back home.

We’re back in the bed. Staring at the TV. Wearing our uniforms. Praying for sleep. Or maybe even death. It’s hard to tell some days.

I hope he goes home soon. I have a birthday coming up. They expect me to be semi-sociable. #sigh