One moment, I was happily dancing in the rain,
The next I was crying, cowering in my shower’s corner.
The manic moments got fewer while the depressive episodes grew longer every time. Rationally, I knew that it was all in my head. I knew that I was allowed to live and to love and to accept affection too. But during the depressive moments, I couldn’t remember those things; I couldn’t hear them. The voices in my head telling me that I am a waste of space or that I don’t matter, they were louder than any reason or sense. And they hurt. So much. Every time a little more. I tried to silence them with music. I tried to mum them with positive thoughts. I even tried to cut them out of my skin and singing them to sleep with alcohol and pills. Nothing worked.
And now I sat here in the shower hiding in the corner, naked and shivering.
These fragile and frail moments were my secret. But I am not sure how well I hid it.
I read in a book that we need to talk and speak up to remind our minds that we are real and alive. I was thinking about that under the cold shower spray. Sobbing, I bit the skin on my arm. The gesture was not to hurt me, but to feel and root my overwhelmed self. I do that too during sex, but that’s more to avoid making too much noise. That’s a different subject.
I watched the water run down my legs in rivulets, little rivers of sorrow. It was a mix of the shower spray, my tears, and, let’s face it, snot was in the mix too. But I was too far gone to care. I tried remembering what had triggered this explosion of emotions, but I couldn’t remember. And it agitated me even more. I forgot so much. Was I too focussed on myself, or not enough? I was just trying to stay alive! The lack of understanding, of meaning, of connection, mixed with insomnia, abject loneliness, and solitude – it was killing me. Or maybe, maybe I was killing myself. Self-loathing, self-destructive, absent from my self.
The water kept caressing the goosebumps all over my body. I hugged myself tighter and bit my skin harder. I looked up to the ceiling. And when I looked down at my knees again, I felt empty. As if this was not me anymore. As if someone had found a switch to turn my emotions off. My sobbing stopped. I got up and turned to water off. Empty. Just going through the motions. As if it was not me. The lights were still on, but no one was at home anymore. I was a robot. A puppet on my mind’s strings. I grew calm but exhausted. Tired. So so tired.
I grabbed my towel and dried off without much care. Heading to my bedroom, I sat down on the mattress, naked as I was; grabbed my pillow – the one I cuddle at night, and rolled myself into a position that made me as small as possible. Fetal position.
I remember thinking that I was not thinking anymore. And then I drifted off.
In the middle of the night, I woke up because I was trembling and felt cold. I covered myself with the sheets and fell into a dreamless slumber. The next time I woke up, it saw the morning light illuminating my bedroom. I felt rested but hungover from the heavy emotions I had felt the night before. I had the image in my head of what a pitiful sight I had been in the shower. Everything else was still a bit foggy.
But as I said, these moments of vulnerability and of my fragile mind being on full display are my secrets. Just mine. No one will ever know the truth.
There was something on my arm; a bruise was forming, the skin was changing colours, reminding me of what I had done.
In sane moments, I wonder why I can’t be normal. Wouldn’t it be easier to be detached from myself more often? Who knows? Who cares? In the end, it doesn’t matter.
We live. We die. And everything we feel in between is not real for anyone but us.