Take me back to the morning I left my home. Blurry eyed and anxious at 5 am, not knowing what was coming next except for the 7 day road trip with my best friend and three new roommates. Before I would get settled back into my depression.
Before I knew that it would all be the same. Take me back to the week before I left. The last hoorah with a boy that had meant so much to me for so many years. Our love dwindled, there wasn’t much left, but we squeezed out what we could in a final trip to Vermont in a small cabin home his grandparents used to own.
Take me back to the months before I left, when I wasn’t fully sure I was leaving. The pure thrill of the unknown that kept me going on days when working two jobs and coming home to my parent’s house where I lived again was a bleak reality. I slept in my tiny room with the same baby blue walls my father had painted for me in the 9th grade. I imagined a new apartment with hardwood floors that I would decorate with candles and my favorite prints.
Take me back to any time but don’t take me back to now. The now, two years later, that is the uncomfortable truth of it all. That moving to a new city does not fix your depression. That making friends without the medium of school is much more difficult. That dating is stranger than you remember it being.
My room, with it’s scratchy brown rug, is a far cry from what I pictured it would be. The difficult part is the every day. Family and friends back home calling and giving you the “I’m so proud” speech. You hear that a lot in the beginning.
Then you hear it less. Sometimes I go to the gym regularly. I eat well, I apply to some jobs. I don’t spend frivolously. I read the book I’ve been meaning to finish for a year. I catch up with friends and have a genuine interest. I think about acting.
And then the sometimes is outweighed by the many more days of loneliness.
I didn’t go to my own birthday party. Riddled with the fear that no one would show up, I lied and said I was sick an hour before arrival. My friends went to the bar anyway. I curled up into a ball and obsessed over my decision but it was too late.
I slept on a stranger’s bed in an Airbnb two miles away. Like a parasite that I have been a host of for far too long, depression has made me forget what it feels like to go after the things that make me happy in life that aren’t as superficial or temporary as ordering a pizza from Postmates.
I grew up doing theater. I studied it in college and I worked on student films. I put too many miles on a car I had just leased so that I could be involved in community theater an hour away from where I lived. I haven’t gone to a single audition in my new city.
Instead I wake up, I go to work, and I come home. I wake up, I go to work, I come home.
I wake up, I take a shower, I sit on my computer.
I wake up, I go to work, I come home. I wake up, I go to work, and I come home. I wake up and I take a shower and I wake up and…