This piece is something I wrote a few years ago about depression. It is obviously from a hard part of my life, but I’m glad to say it’s not something I deal with anymore. If you find yourself relating to it, please know that just because you’re depressed today doesn’t mean you will always feel that way. It does get better!
I guess I should have been expecting you. Or maybe you never left? I don’t think you did. You just retreated enough for me to stop thinking about you. Like an annoying relative who is about to be asked to leave, you take your drink and sit quietly in the corner, staring at the football game, waiting for me to forget my irritation.
I knew you were there. Of course I did. I can’t quite enjoy myself when you’re around. When you sit quietly for a while, I can kind of loosen up…smile a bit. I laugh at people’s jokes and comment that, yes, after all, the weather is quite nice. When you stay in the background, I can ignore you…pretend you’re not here.
But you are here. You’re always here. I hate your freaking guts, you know. I wish you would go away. I wish you would go away and never speak to me again. I don’t want to feel you watching me. Waiting for everyone to leave…for your chance. I don’t want to hear your voice. That voice that makes me want to take a thousand pills and wash it down with gallons of something strong just to make you shut up. Just be quiet! No one likes you. You ruin everything.
I don’t know why I didn’t realize you were just waiting for things to calm down. For people to fall away and life to get back to a normal enough existence for the adrenaline to seep away so you could worm your way back in. Maybe I just wasn’t thinking. Or noticing. Didn’t realize it was you that made me feel so tired. That the book after book after nap and the growing laundry pile was not just a goal or a bug but…you.
I hate you. I’d kill you if I could. I thought I did. I tried. Fed you pill after pill. You tricked me. I thought you were dead.
But, of course, you’re not. Because you’re right here. Killing me slowly.
©2011 Rachel Holbrook
You can read previous Flashback Friday pieces here!