subject line: coming back from the dead.

 

alexandria, virginia

I have tried for so long to convince myself that everything would be okay again someday. That one day, I would wake up and roll out of bed and breathe easy. That the tightness in my chest would be gone. That I wouldn’t get a stabbing pain in my heart every time I heard his name or talked to my family. That I would live again. That I would thrive. That I would make it past the layers of anxiety and tears and severe depression.

That eventually, I would cross a bridge and not think of jumping. See a knife and not be tempted to carve my hatred of the very brain inside me into my wrists. Be able to see big pill bottles and not be tempted to down them. I had longed for so long to simply crash head long into traffic. To be done. To rest. To not have to fight any more. To not have to wake up in a shroud of pain but put on a mask to survive the day.

It seems like I’ve been this way for years... and I guess I have, but I’ve had good months here and there. I made it a whole year and for a while there, I led a prescription free life. An actual life.

Towards spring break, I started heading into the fog, and then before I knew it, I was deeper into a depression than I had ever been. It was terrifying. I hated being around people because I was convinced they could see me. They could tell that I was losing it. That my foundation wasn’t just cracked, it was practically the epicenter for the earthquake that had become my brain. That I could barely function enough to take notes in class, much less actually maintain any relationships. Most of my classmates actually had no idea anything was wrong...

School ended, and I started my way down South to the land of sweet tea and sweeter people. I thought everything would be okay away from family and school. I thought it was mostly just anxiety. I have a friend who theorized that my severe depression was caused by my severe anxiety being internalized... Maybe that was it, I hoped. Maybe the hundreds of miles separating me and the people who have hurt me the most will help.

A few weeks in, I relapsed. I was back to a more severe depression than I had ever known. Every thought in my head revolved around death. If I walked into a room, I could point out every object I could possibly use to kill myself, and it terrified me. There was a night where it didn’t even feel like I had control over my thoughts anymore, so I curled up in a ball on the couch and rocked back and forth, covering my ears and crying, praying for the thoughts to stop. Praying for relief. Silence. Anything.

I thought that it would never end.

But two weeks ago, I went on a walk at night... and I heard crickets chirp for the first time in years... not because we don’t have crickets in my area, but because I couldn’t hear them. I smelled flowers and watched a sunset and counted stars. I felt the concrete uneven beneath my feet. I breathed, and I felt the air in my lungs. Two weeks ago, I started living.

I still have hard nights. I still have days where cutting seems like the easiest way out....and it is. But I’m not in this life for the easy way out. I’m in it for adventures and fighting for my life back and for love. I’m in it for so much love.

There’s nothing better than life proving you wrong in the best way possible. So here’s to sunsets and endless stars and feeling grass again and smelling rain. Here’s to coming back to life.