My depression lives in food. It lives in colorful boxes of sugary cereal and in packages of cookies and in bright red bags of flaming hot cheetos that numb my tongue and in aluminum-wrapped Pop-Tarts (strawberry or cinnamon) and amongst the carbonation bubbles in a can of Coke (regular, never diet) and in thick slices of sugary cake and in fattening, buttery pastas with even MORE butter than the last time and in eating two dinners (or maybe three?) and in cartons of fried rice and in my roommate’s leftovers and in spoonfuls of peanut butter and “grabbing a treat after work” and in family-sized bowls of popcorn and in constant snacking, not just at midnight.
My depression lives in the shower. It lives in the idea that taking a shower can be considered productive if I tilt my head and squint my eyes and then it lives in the idea that I should be taking multiple showers a day and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing and closing my eyes under the pressure and then maybe sitting on the floor if I get too tired and then still not feeling fixed once I get out.
My depression lives under my bed. It makes me dread falling asleep because it weasels its way into my mind and then decides whether its going to trap me there or keep me up for the rest of the night and it tells me it’s fine, it’s okay, nobody is sleeping these days and it’s chic to be tired because it means you’re busy and important, right? and it makes my body ache and my head hurt and my contacts dry up faster looking at screens all day and then the worry line my mom warned me about presses deeper and deeper into the space between my eyebrows.
My depression lives in fake energy. It swirls around in my coffee mug with my milk and whispers to me as I take a sip that I definitely need this to do my job because otherwise I have no motivation to do any of it and on the subway ride home I clasp my hands together in my lap and hope nobody can see that they’re shaking and hope nobody minds that my leg is shaking instead and I think about Adderall in college and think about that one time I closed my eyes at 3AM and could feel my eyes whizzing around really fast behind their lids and my heart racing and I remember thinking why do I need this to do what everyone else is doing?
My depression lives in the excuse, “I just don’t have time.” It tricks me into thinking I, personally, am not worth my own time so that to-do lists get longer and my parents start demanding answers about dentist appointments and doctor’s visits and check-ups and did you work out this week? and friends are wondering where I am and someone needed help three weeks ago, so just forget it now, and the stupid red notification count in the lefthand corner of the iMessage icon on my phone is building higher and higher and higher until it just stops.