The Sound of the Darkness


Depression is a wily motherfucker. She’ll use whatever she sees to gouge me right in the soul, to suck the life out of me and make me too tired to fight her.

She sees the overflowing laundry hamper and says, “My God, if you can’t even keep up with the laundry, what good are you?”

She looks at the kids’ empty beds and tells me, “You can make all the excuses you want, but they left because you’re a lousy mother and a sad excuse for a human being.”

Depression watches me say “no” to Carter and when he gets angry, depression says, “Eventually, he’ll reject you too. Just make him the damn sandwich (or drive him to his friend’s house, or buy him a toy, or let him have another cookie) if you want to keep him.”

Depression looks in the refrigerator with me and says, “Why bother looking for something healthy? No matter what you do today, eventually you’ll eat a box of cookies and you’ll be fat and unhealthy forever.”

She sees me looking around the house, trying to decide if I should clean the kitchen or vacuum the living room, and tells me, “You think anything you do will make a difference? You’re a slob and everybody knows it. You might as well give up.”

Depression hears the kind things that people say to me and answers, “Oh, please, they don’t even know you. If they really knew you, they would never be so nice.”

She hammers away at me, pounding on the inside of my skull, until I might as well be stapled to the couch. My eyelids are heavy and my patience is short.

I act in ways that depression tells me to act.

I don’t eat healthy foods because I don’t deserve to eat in ways that make me feel good.

Because I don’t deserve to feel good.

I don’t wear pretty clothes or blow dry my hair because who is going to look at me? If I don’t try to look nice, at least I haven’t wasted my effort on something useless.

I want to believe that I am enough. I want to do something different than this. I want to live my whole life, not this tiny sliver I have allowed myself, but I don’t know how to begin.

I don’t know how to have faith that any change I make will be more than just this moment, this day, this week.

I am so, so tired. Tired of myself and tired of the constant struggle.

Tired, so tired, of the noise inside my skull, this relentless heckling that is so much meaner than any real person I have ever met.

Although, much as I am meaner to myself than any other person has ever been, I am very good at surrounding myself with people who are more willing to judge me than to love me.

Medicine helps some; therapy has helped a little. There comes a point, though, at which nothing can help me if I don’t believe that change is possible.

I sort of believe that change is possible, but I don’t know how to start believing it where it matters, down in my guts.