It's no secret that I had a couple of rough months there. It was pretty touch-and-go for a while. And I'm not ashamed to admit that, quite frankly, I wanted to die. I really did.
I wanted to die.
I wanted to not be here. To not be conscious. To not feel. To not be in this world that seemed to be betraying me at every.single.turn.
Maybe that's hard for some of you to comprehend. How can anything be that bad? you may ask. Nobody's life is perfect. Everyone goes through rough times. You mean you couldn't just buck up and get over it?
No. I couldn't.
I suffer from depression. Not chronic, not debilitating, but depression nonetheless. Sometimes it hits me a little hard--when serious change occurs, when events prove bigger than I'd anticipated, when the human foibles we're all so prone to come front and center. Other times, it's just this tiny little nagging in the back of my day. I don't really feel like going out, it says. Or, I'm not as interested in that as I used to be, but sometimes I wish I was. And even, Gee, I think I could just stay in bed today and not feel like I was missing out on anything.
But after I came out of that depression, that darkness that was inkier and thicker than I think I'd ever experienced--yes, this time it was debilitating--I thanked God/my lucky stars/my friends who stood by me/etc. that I didn't die. Because I would have missed out on things.
Like reading. In bed, snuggled under the covers, my body pillow placed on top of me, the length of it only a fraction of my nearly 6' frame, but acting as a propping mechanism for the book nonetheless. Reading and disappearing into worlds that took me away from my own, or coming into my own universe so closely that I was convinced the author had been spying on me, turns of phrase that were written just for me. In ways that meant something only I could understand. Do you know how comforting that is?
Or the taste of tea. Oh, how I love-adore-take delight in tea! Liquid peace, its warmth slowly making its way down to my core, healing and soothing all the hurts. Have you ever gone a day without tea? I cannot. Right now, an empty mug sits beside me, having served its purpose, but not the first of the day. Somehow, holding a mug of hot tea close to my face calms me, my hands, tired from work and weak from constant grasping at this world, wrapped around its curved body, the steam rising towards my chin, my lips, my nose. I feel safe with that mug of tea near my body. I feel protected.
And clean laundry. I love doing laundry. I look forward to it. It's like getting a whole new wardrobe, only it's familiar and comforting because it's mine. Those fabrics have graced my skin so many days and hours of my life, have been with me in moments of joy, moments of sorrow, moments of hope. Clothing takes on a life of its own, sometimes mirroring my shape as it hangs from the back of a chair or on the edge of the bed. And when it's clean, it's as if it gets another chance--a fresh start--to be with me all over again, to be with me in those days and hours of my life.
If I had died, I would have missed out on those simple but miraculous and glorious pleasures.
It was a close call, but I am still here. Sipping tea, with a book in my hand, while I wear my freshly laundered sweats.
There is great, great joy in this. I do not deny it.
with love from Pittsburgh,