Depression is a hand on the throat, around the throat, squeezing the air out of your body. It’s a heavy, wet blanket wrapped around your head, air molecules dodging water droplets. Breathing comes in jagged waves- gasping for air, for life, for a life saving hand as your head goes down under again. Depression is that 20 second pause after a fall when you look up at the clear blue sky, perfectly blue, achingly blue and you wonder how you got down here. You wonder why your ribs are crushing your lungs. It’s the split second before you gasp and choke and suck in air like shards of glass. It’s getting the wind knocked out of you, over and over and over again, eyes to the sky and the blue pressing down on my chest.
There are moments where it takes all my energy just to keep breathing. I close my eyes against the dazzling blue and try to remember why I like breathing.
If there was a reason, I could find it. If there was a problem, I could fix it. If there was something out of place, I could readjust. But that’s the intangible, untouchable nature of boxing with shadows. Nothing is lost. Nothing is wrong. Nothing is unjust or wicked or fraudulent or negligent. All is right in my little world, just not inside of me. If depression is a vapor, a fog; then anger is a liquid. Hot tears.
“See Honey, I’m just slicing an onion. It’s just a strong onion that’s making mommy cry.” My hand with the knife moves automatically. Really, I wouldn’t mind just eating cereal for the third meal of the day.
My eyes don’t need to look around me, for I can sense the shame collecting in piles of clutter. And I have forgotten which mounds of laundry are clean and which are dirty. And the crumbs under the dinning room table sigh at me and feel overwhelming tonight. And the dog has taken up a forbidden position on the couch pillows, yet I just can’t muster the energy to scold him, or to pet him for that matter.
Days slip through my fingers faster than my dry eyes can make fresh tears. I coil and uncoil myself around a pillow, back to bed now up again, night and day, dusk and dawn. The most significant moment of the day is when I close my eyes and feel the globe spinning, sucking the air out of my lungs again, and I sleep.