It’s past one in the morning. I should go to bed. My head is heavy and my eyes are tired. I can’t make myself go. I played a game I like obsessively until I ran out of lives, and now I’m here.
I’ve been cranky and irritable much of the day. This morning (or yesterday morning) I woke up suddenly at about six, terrified and on edge for no reason I could name. I had a pee and went back to bed, afraid I wouldn’t sleep. But I did sleep, and woke, and slept some more. I never seem to sleep enough, not matter how many hours I get.
I’ve been thinking about my closet, about how many items of clothing I possess that I never wear because I’ve grown too large for them. About my drawer full of T-shirts, some of which are old, and some too small, that I don’t wear, either. All the common wisdom says one should get rid of these things, that keeping them–for that far away and impossible day when you lose weight, for the day they interest you again–prevents you from moving on and discovering the person you are now. I love many of those clothes. I love the pretty dresses, the velvet coats, the T-shirts from concerts I attended long ago when life was different. They’re more than garments. They’re symbols, of prosperity, of beauty, of a life I find unattainable. Letting go of them seems like renouncing possibility. It seems like an act of despair rather than freedom.
I’ve been thinking about an article I read about what depression feels like. It stressed how important it is to practice self care even when you don’t feel like it, to get out of bed, to bathe and get dressed, to clean your house. To practice the actions of normality. It talked about how depression lies, and how, even though you might feel no one cares, that’s just your bad brain chemistry talking. I think that depression does lie, but it also tells the truth. There are people who don’t care, who don’t treat you as you’d like and deserve to be treated. Who say, “I haven’t seen you around” when a series or a week of bad days has kept your off social media, but never once have checked in to tell you they’re concerned when you’re absent. Who are willing to take what you do for them, and seldom if ever do anything in return. I think, “If I don’t care whether my house is clean and no one else does, isn’t cleaning it the lie?”
I peel away layers of myself like an onion, trying to find what’s at my center, but nothing is there.