Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the one in which i show you my bathroom.

I've emerged from the depression. Well, at least a little bit. And by a little bit, I mean enough to organize my bathroom closet. Whenever I feel stressed or anxious, I clean. And whenever I'm feeling a bit down, I organize. The depression from the previous days was, as you will recall, Quite Bad. And I worried that it wouldn't lessen. But, I woke Sunday to rays of sunshine streaming into my bedroom, and I suddenly felt a little less heavy. A little less hopeless. A little more willing to face the day.

I went to Mass, which was wonderful. There's something so healing about walking up to my big, gorgeous cathedral (do you like how I refer to it as "my" cathedral?) on a sunny Sunday and having a sense of homecoming. The choir was amazing, the homily was pertinent to my situation, and I just felt peaceful. Afterward, I walked down Craig Street to Starbucks and bought myself a little treat with a gift card my boss had given me. I sat outside on a bench, the sun warming me all over. I was alone, yes, but it wasn't too bad. I enjoyed watching the people walking on the sidewalks, people who were enjoying the sun and the warmth just as much as I was.

I decided to do something when I got home. I didn't want to crawl back into my bed, feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, hide from the living. I wanted to participate in some way. In a private way, in the safety of my apartment. But participate nonetheless.

And so I cleaned.

I love my bathroom closet. Well, it's really just shelves with a curtain in front of them, but it works well and looks pretty. I decided to make everything just. so. When things are just. so. I feel like I can breathe. It's the result of growing up in a home with a schizophrenic mother. Things were never just. so. And, so, I felt I couldn't breathe.

I like to feel as though I can breathe.

I fought through the darkness of the past few days. It may return, yes. But if it does, I'll just tell it that it can't stay forever. And then I'll fight through it again.

Today, a young girl walked into my office and said, "Hi. I know you don't know me, but I just...I just have to say something." I didn't know what was to come next, nor did my student aide, so we just waited. "I just wrote this piece," she said, "this piece for a non-fiction class. I've suffered from depression my whole life, and I just wanted, just once, to try to express what it's like to live with depression." I felt my hands get cold and clammy. "And you know what?" she asked. "They just read it in class and said it's too melodramatic. I mean, what do they want?" And then she started to cry. Right there in my office. This girl I didn't know. This girl I'd never seen before. "I feel like my whole life has been a lie," she finally said. And then she left. Crying.

And all I could think about was that somehow I knew what she meant. I wanted to run after her. But I was frozen at my desk. Unable to respond.

I said a silent prayer for her, though. I wonder if she's okay tonight. I wonder if she's hiding under her covers, avoiding the world and wanting to not exist.

I wonder if she'll feel the strength to fight through it. To try to make things just. so. So that she, too, can breathe.

with love from Pittsburgh,

2 lovely bits o' feedback.:

Duel Living said...

It's good that you are getting some sun, and pulling back the curtain...even if it's just the one in the bathroom. Baby steps.

I feel so sorry for that girl. For you. For me. You know that commercial..."Depression Hurts"? Well, it's so true. It does hurt. It hurts most when others can't understand, can't see the depths, want us to snap out of it like it's a light we can turn off and on. I hate that you go through depression...but I have to say...through meeting my blog friends...I have found a commraderie in the many that do...suffer...and share...and commiserate...and help me pull back my curtain.


Catholic Chicks said...

I am so sorry to hear about this...I wanted to come here and thank you for your prayers during my uncle's passing. You are definitely in my prayers. I know what you are going through. You are a lot stronger than you know. Put your faith in the Lord. It won't go away overnight, but HE does answer prayers to the faithful. If you ever need anything please let me know. God bless!