I wore the dress I'm wearing today to work the other night and someone said, "You should fix that hole. I love that dress. I don't wanted to fall apart on you."
I looked at the spot on my shoulder where my co-worker had pointed and noticed the little hole. I felt a bit shabby. How had I not noticed it? How long would this dress last? I like it, too. I don't want it to fall apart, either.
I picked the dress up this morning and put it on and I feel like that almost-invisible hole is the sum of these parts. Like I'm unraveling, a tiny bit at a time - almost indiscernible but still ever-present. Eventually, unless some mending happens, stray strings will scatter here and there.
I hesitate to post stuff like this because it comes off as pathetic - I know that because that's typically how I read other people's stuff that sounds like this. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Do something about it. Take action to solve your problem. It's deflating, if I'm being honest, this feeling of knowing - in a rather sudden way - that the shining-self-made-woman experience might not be the one I'm going to have. For a long time, I really thought it was. I'm disappointed in myself. I'm embarrassed to have talked myself up to the point of possible ridiculousness, only to find myself with few options other than to quietly retreat.
It feels sad. Because I feel like there must be more. Right? No? If this is all I'm here for, straight-talk and simply living day-to-day, then I will take it. That will be enough, because if that's all there is, it has to be.
When I sit by the ocean, I feel like there's more. When I go for a walk by myself with music blasting in my ears, I feel like there's more. When I watch a video of a murmuration, I feel like there's more.
You know, I've spent years quietly calling bullshit on the idea of depression. I've thought that if I ate just the right way, found the right exercise and did it enough, was a good enough daughter and mother and friend, kept my therapy appointments - I thought happiness and purpose would be mine. I've righteously thought that people who took medicine for depression weren't trying as hard. And yet - and yet - even as I back away from that idea, even as my mind and heart expands to understand that maybe I need to give a little bit more grace and compassion and understanding, there's a part of me that still feels certain that I must be doing something wrong here. I must be failing at something because what the fuck? Do we really live in a culture in which 1 in 10 people require medication? Really? Was this just wildly under-diagnosed years and years ago?
I've been in relationship with people who've used the word "depression" as an excuse for bad behavior, and so my inclination has always been to run the other way. Over the years I've believed that "depression" was really just the outward manifestation of a person's unwillingness to feel their true feelings and process them in a healthy way. Recently, I've taken that further into believing that we're in the midst of a spiritual crisis as a people, and that our fears around diving head first into our exploration of God, our souls, and our experience as humans is making us run toward pills instead of Love.
But now all of this shit, just like my dress, is just unraveling. My theories are starting to fray. Because thanks to a stellar therapist, I know that I'm an emotionally straight-up gal. I see the shit. I feel it. And I deal with it. Sometimes the dealing-with-it takes years, but I do it. I'm a spiritual seeker and, sometimes, a spirit-finder and so I know that's real, too. I know it's right there. Possible. Waiting.
I know these things and yet my shit is not right.
I can't keep blaming my period.
I'm just tired, you know? I'm tired of the struggle.
I really don't think it's supposed to feel this hard.