**Disclaimer before you read!!** The above link and picture are NOT mine. Picture was found from a Google Search (if you are reading this and you know who the picture belongs to, let me know and I will happily credit them), link is a wonderful article I will talk about in this post, feel free to read it first**
I should be working on a presentation for my Spanish class, but I keep seeing this lady’s face behind my eyes. It feels like she is just begging for me to let her out, so here goes…
The above article I read yesterday features the author doing this amazing job of describing his version (or idea?) of death as a lady, and I immediately thought of depression as a lady. As soon as the thought hit me, I saw her face. The picture above is pretty darn close to what she looks like in my head. Damn, she is beautiful isn’t she? She is almost like some dark version of a Siren calling the sailors of ancient times unknowingly to their death. The other day I wrote that depression is like a dark pit, to me this lady is the gatekeeper.
She tells me her name is Ileana, she is probably the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. She is darkness and mystery all combined, I feel like I can get lost in her eyes because they hold all of my lost secrets that I didn’t really know searching for. When life is going well, she waits. In a dark corner in the back of my mind, she sits in the shadows and watches me. I see her sitting on this elaborate throne, maybe there is a animal in her lap that she just lazily strokes. She is patient, so much more patient than I am. She knows she doesn’t have to beg me, I will come willingly. She knows this and continues to wait. When she speaks, it is never louder than a whisper. This is how she draws me in, not with force or angry harsh words, but with a whisper I can’t ignore. The words she uses aren’t important, it is about so much more than words.
When life is NOT going so well, I can barely make into her lap. I crawl on my hands and knees, crying until my eyes burn and my nose is leaking. When finally I reach her no words are needed, she knows this as well. She smiles a knowing smirk and opens to me. I crawl into her arms like I am her child and she is my mother. I guess in a lot of ways she is Mother, Lover, Sister, and Friend all wrapped into one. These are the times words get lost, she closes her arms around me and I can cry and I can sleep, and I can cry IN my sleep. When she takes me to bed I can get lost in her warm embrace. These are the times when death is more than a thought, so much more like a wish, these are the times it becomes hard to breathe. Do you understand? These are the times where it hurts to be touched by anyone but her. She doesn’t hold me down, I can stay in her embrace as long as I need.
These are the darkest times. I don’t talk about them with anyone, in fact this is probably the first time I have admitted to having them. I think about the end too often during this time, I WANT it to end. Want to know what keeps me here? Here is my truth, I lost my mother to her own version of Ileana. The article above talks about surviving for just one more day. We have made it this far, just breathe for one more day. What keeps me surviving one more day is my mother. I lost her when I was very young, somewhere around 6-7 yrs old. My mother, for me is the anti-Ileana. One day I will not need either of them, one day I will be able to breathe on my own and slay my demons alone. One day, the darkness and Ileana will not seem so inviting. She won’t be as beautiful, and I will be free.
The road to recovery from any traumatic situation is a long one. I can’t remember how Ileana came to me, or when. I feel like she may have come the day my mother died. I think the first step in MY recovery is acknowledging Ileana, naming her, introducing her to my friends and family, maybe even strangers because I have finally realized we all have our very own version of depression. That seems to be one of the biggest and most complicated parts of this stupid mental illness, it is different for everyone who has it. Rarely do two people experience it the same way. Sometimes, the going does get tough and all I want to do is languish in my own hell for awhile. However, I think the biggest show of strength is getting up and facing another day. Don’t think for one moment it isn’t hard and unfair and so unfun, it is all of those things. There is nothing fun, fair or easy about crying for no reason, but the fact is I do it. Constantly. And I know I am not the only one. Let this be me giving you and I permission to cry.
I feel like I could go on and on, but I will leave with this last thought. Life is forever changing. Things that effect us in any way one day, may effect us differently the next day. Something that wasn’t a trigger last month, may set you off this month. You and I may want to lay in bed for a whole day, and we may not even need to cry. All of this is okay, none of it is failure. We are not failures or broken or too damaged because we hurt. Me sharing MY story and MY feelings is all about reminding myself of just that. We are NOT alone. ❤