I had a post planned for yesterday. I wrote it Saturday, read it Sunday, abandoned it Monday. I had wanted to write about depression, but ended up with more of a list than a story. Yes, all those things happened, in that order, to me. So what? I wanted to explain that I’m not always depressed, that it’s part of me, but not all of me. I was feeling that I had given the impression that I’m always in that state. I’m not.
Why does that matter? Because, I realized, that I was doing with this blog what I do in my real life—trying desperately to minimize my own depression so that others will feel more comfortable. It really bothered me that I might have “given the wrong impression.” What the hell does that mean? Sometimes I’m depressed. I’ve been that way as long as I can remember. Sometimes it’s horrible, sometimes it’s not. But it exists. There is no wrong impression to give.
The depression isn’t the problem. The reaction of other people to my depression is. That’s where the anxiety pools. That’s where the hiding starts. That’s the source of the ongoing struggle—not that I might be depressed, but that you might reject me for admitting it.
I don’t struggle with depression. When I’m in it, I wear it like a pair of comfy old pajamas. I struggle with the world, the bright, loud, beautiful world that feels so other. I don’t know how to be in that world. I don’t know how to connect to it, to you. I’m afraid it will catch me watching, turn and see me there, just as I am. What will it say? Will it try to change me? fix me? Or will it just laugh at me and walk away? Will you?
IF I EXTEND
If I extend any part of myself to you
Whether a hand, a poem, a word
You then have the power
To ignore, to shred, to ridicule
A part of me, the all of me
It’s not words I fear
They come and go freely, with pleasure
It’s the connections I fear
And the exposure when I dare
Exchange words with others