She is a tsunami. Powerful, overwhelming, terrifying. As soon as you see the wave, you already know it is too late. That is how she swallows me whole, as I only notice the danger I am in when safety is no longer in reach. It is kind of like I am eating a peach. When I initially began, it looked juicy and tasty, nothing abnormal about it. Yet, as I continue to eat it, the further I get towards the center, the sourer the taste becomes.
Nevertheless, this transition from sweet to sour is so micro that it is not until you are at the center of the peach that you even notice the sour taste. The moment you look down at the peach, it becomes apparent that it has gone wrong. However, it is not until you take a bite of the worst part that you even notice. That is her, my depression. It is once she has consumed me whole that I even realize that I am drowning.
I begin a routine while being lost in her chaos. I am hoping that an early morning might remove her late-night thoughts. A made-up bed in the morning complimenting my ideal persona of having things in order. Yet, there is no secret that with her, I am the messiest. Nevertheless, something about the clean and organized bed makes it seem like she is manageable. With each self-care ritual, I weaken her a little bit. Like kryptonite, taking care of myself threatens her very existence. Overly chewed bites of food in a desperate attempt to remove her distaste for nutrition. She brings it back up each time, assuming I’ll give my attempts a rest. On the contrary, I research everything I can do and eat to help keep my food down. With each bite that stayed down, I became stronger, once again weakening her control over my body.
A simple routine to create, start, yet overwhelming to keep up with. In my every movement, she pulls me back, making every step forwards tiring. This tiredness is her savior. Every time I ignore a task out of mere exhaustion, she gathers a little more fuel. A little more power. My fatigue and her need to return compliment each other better than peanut butter and jelly. I remove the pillows and comforters that are so gorgeously laid on my bed. As I lay down and fall back into my cocoon of comforters and self-despair, she applies herself over me, making a perfect thick peanut butter cover over my already emotional layer of jelly. I might be the one who creates the first layer by laying me down, but with her additional layer, I am forced to stay down. Together we become more powerful than she ever imagined. In my darkest of times, she comes alive. She thrives when I lose, lives when I emotionally die. My worst time is her primetime.
Nevertheless, I think there might be a reason I have been fighting this routine with every inch of my body. She has lived in me so long she has become me. Therefore, no part of me desires a routine as it would be the end of my depression. Organizing and cleaning my chaos would be the end of her, the end of us. Considering the broken family ties and abandonment issues, leaving her is more complicated than one would think. Despite knowing her kryptonite, I keep her around. Make changes but not enough to altogether remove her. Even in my best signs of progress, I leave some damaged room for her. Unconsciously for the longest, but somehow semi-conscious now. The awareness is there, but it co-exists with another understanding. If I leave her, honestly, then I would only be left with nothing. Although having a routine is one way out of my depression, away from her, maybe I don’t want to leave her quite yet. Although she puts me in discomfort, something about her pain is so comforting to me. She reminds me of home.
There is only one reason for that. The way she hurts me yet provides me with comfort feels familiar to my not yet grown heart. I’ve developed the mind of an adult, yet I continue to emote with a heart that has refused to grow up with me. In the center of my heart is a miniature version of me as a child, still being abused by parents, bullied by peers, neglected by the rest. Thus, even when I create peace for my mind, I am still left with an unsettling feeling. The battle forever continues in my heart. In that way, I am always leaving some space for her to enter. I can board up all the entrances and shortcuts that I am aware of, but the child in my heart does not share this same need for separation from her. She loves her, and leaves crumbs for her to follow, providing her with another secret path to my emotions. Thus, even when my mind researches and implements all kinds of tools and plans to diminish her effect, I am somehow convinced to give up before I know it. You can’t kick someone out if they are already inside, not when they are stronger than you and understand all of your weak spots and scars. It is impossible.
I can’t fight her. Despite my most extraordinary efforts. If only I could understand how she works. If only I could understand how to sense her lurking in the hallway before she burst through my doors. Why does the child in me love her when she is the one holding me back from everything younger me dreamed of becoming?