Inside my brain is a blue monster who finds strength in my serotonin. He gulps down every ounce before my body can even absorb a drop. He is my depression, and we fight every day for that sweet fix that will fuel one of us and slowly deplete the other.
Waking up as myself and just choosing to exist is sometimes a task that seems insurmountable. I actively tell myself that I am okay, and I take these days one breath, one step, and one smile a time.
I am clinically depressed. My little monster fused himself to my brain long ago, and someone with a certificate that says M.D. told me my brain is sad because of it, and I’ve been living with his bullshit for quite some time. And the pills prescribed don’t seem to evict him, they just tranquilize his rage for fleeting moments, and he comes back stronger, more cunning, and I’m left with dry mouth and a stomach that’s been empty for two days.
And sometimes I cry first thing with the morning sun, and the moon has wiped away my tears more often than not. And then I hate myself for hating myself and the cycle continues. But there’s this little sliver of hope, this moment that seems to find its way to me at least once a day. And that is why I choose to fight this fucking guy. That moment is what I hold on to.
It’s the smile on my nieces’ faces when I walk through the door after not seeing them for months. It’s that moment in complete silence on my yoga mat when I’m reminded that I’m connected to something bigger. It’s the breathlessness that comes from running miles and miles along a trail, challenging myself to go farther and faster. It’s the smile of a stranger who needed the seat on the subway car more than I did. It’s notes from friends reminding me how valuable our friendship is. It’s the I love you’s and the I miss you’s. It’s jokes with my dad and watching my favorite basketball team lose again. It can be as simple as the smell of coffee in the morning and the feel of my favorite book in my hands. I find it every day, even on the days when I’m at my weakest.
If there is anything that I could ask of other people out there, hurting like I hurt, it’s that you see the hope in the small stuff. You let those little hopes add up and you allow them to get bigger and bigger. I don’t know how to stop these monsters from existing, but I do know that when you break every morning and are able to piece yourself back together before the day is done, you become strong. I know that when you smile while holding back tears, you find resilience. I know that no matter how small you feel, you still fucking matter. You deserve to take up this space. I know that in the darkest corners of your world, you can find divinity.
It is exhausting. But for some reason, the universe decided that you could handle this. So we handle it. And we learn, and we cry, and we shake our fists and ask, “Why me?” and we joke, and we cry some more, and we fucking live. That’s all we can do: live through it.
Hold on to the hope this year and choose to live.