Sometimes no one can see the ugly thing except the person carrying it, living with it, going to sleep with it, tangled to it in bed, limb to limb. The breakdowns in the showers that turn to long baths aren’t seen by anyone, neither are the immobile moments spent on the cold floor because it hurts too much to move because you keep thinking doing so will finally be the act that makes you shatter.
It’s only ever behind closed doors that you cling on to your bed under the sheets and you keep thinking, “I’m safe here, nothing can touch me, no one can see me.” It’s only the silence surrounding you that makes you realize that even the absence of sound can be so deafening, so drowning.
Sometimes no one can see the dark thing because sometimes depression comes in short skirts and burgundy lips in heels, walking from bar to bar, with a vodka water in hand, downing a tequila shot on busy Saturdays downtown. Sometimes she wakes up in beds she shouldn’t be opening her eyes up to the sun in. Sometimes she comes with bouncy hair, a smile, a laugh so loud it resonates. Sometimes depression comes in the most beautiful, colorful and beguiling of disguises.
Because sometimes all we want to do is buy a ticket and jump on a train to destination Anywhere, with a stop that leads to a place other than this hell. So we shave our legs, and we curl our hair, and we paint our faces literally and figuratively, even though doing so takes up all the remaining energy inside of our bodies, even though it hurts our heavy bones.
Sometimes coping just comes in forms of pretending. So we stop ignoring the ringing of our phones, make plans with our friends who have no idea of anything, hit the streets and let the city lights course through our veins. We fall back into old habits – bad habits – with way too much ease. We’re thirsty, high and drunk on the act, we’ve got chatty mouths, hungry hands, and a fake light in our eyes. We begin to tear ourselves apart, yet again, in different ways on our search for wholeness.
Maybe all we’re really doing is trying to find a cure for the numbness, getting our hands dirty with gasoline for the arson because we want nothing more than to walk through a fire to feel anything, anything other than the ugly thing that aches, that dulls out the pain until we’re left alone with emptiness.
No, depression isn’t always lying around crying, it rarely is, it also isn’t always curling up in a fetal position, numb and still, letting each hour dwindle away like petals on dandelions. Sometimes depression is what you wouldn’t expect, sometimes it’s moving too fast, baring too many teeth, it’s the loudest of laughs. Sometimes it comes with hands in the air, taking a joy ride out with cool wind sweeping carefree hair.
It isn’t always painted in dark colors, it isn’t always out on the surface or visible to the naked eye. Sometimes it’s splattered in colors brighter than you could imagine, hidden beneath layers and layers of skin. Sometimes it’s holding hands with those you’d least expect on a bench at the train station, waiting for the train to destination Anywhere.