(my past is not my present)

i'm in tears, my eyes are red-rimmed, i look like a freaking racoon.
and i'm so happy.
my depression told me i couldn't do this. it told me things would be bad forever. it told me it would never leave.
and guess what? it lied.

it LIED.

it hurts.

it hurts like when you were so young,
fresh and baby-faces, running into the 
corners of tables but you never told
anyone how much pain the soon-to-be bruise
really costed you, your fragile flesh
shouting at you, all-caps, bolded exclamation marks.

it hurts like winter-long depression in the skin of a viper,
but this time it is not seasonal, it is all-year tire tracks
bumping over and breaking apart your sleep cycles,
your hands quaking with the panic you refuse
to let wake you in the middle of a nightmare

it hurts like the first time you started to scrape at the edges of your body,
when your sadness could not be defined nor held back,
when you scratched yourself bloody and raw,
when you turned the shower too hot, it burned but at least it didn't scar,
when you pressed on your closed eyelids until you felt nauseous.

it doesn-

 

does not-

 cannot-


it will not go away. 
i am not free.

this is a probation, this is temporary release,
this is not salvation. 
this is not what happiness tastes like. 

headlights call like sirens, 
actual sirens provoke me to 
run for small, dark spaces,

if i feel like i am spiralling - 
i need some control. 
and fitting myself, limbs and all, 
into a limited space,
elbows cramped against the wall,
knees digging into the floor,
will give me some measure of control. 

you can't run away
one of these days, 
s o m e day we all try to. 

we try to dump our past on the curb
and never come back, never look back, 
but it will not leave. it is growing
in the spots you cannot see it, 
it feeds on you like a parasite. 

b
 e
  l
   e
    i
     v
      e

it or not, we are the children.
our lives, they are gone. 
we are rebuilding from some
vague impression gone wrong. 

have you ever wondered what it is like
trying to build a city out of r-u-i-n-s?

please do not. 
i know, and it is a painful sight. 

imagine me trying to be strong -

a fragile teen, curled like a dying leaf,
face bowed to the shame of tears,
body more shadows than not, 
shoulders draped with lostness,
hands like faint earthquakes, 
body bent towards the bright screen
as though it is the only truth
and they spasm until they can try to 
sink their fingers into the keyboard.

that is me, a portrait no-one asked for.
hello. my name is laura,
and i am running from my depression.
the soles of my shoes are wearing thin.
i am not athletic - i cannot do this. 

why do i do this?
insist on recovering?
it is exhausting. 

there is no light at the end of this tunnel,
that's not the way it works. 

god, i'm doing this because i'm not depressed.
not anymore.
i'm dealing with the aftermath right now.

this is fallout. 
i am fallout.

why did i bother climbing that
terror of a mountain called recovery?

because i had to. 
because it was worth it.
because i made it. 

i did it because a reminder just throws me to tears,
not to lapse back into sadness and self-loathing.

because i am not my depression.

listen to me, 
those of you who can't breathe.

i'm here.

i am not fallout.

god, i am curled here, 
i am going to go to sleep tonight 
i am going to get up in the morning
i am going to eat breakfast
i am going to go outside
i am going to be happy. 

do you understand yet?

this isn't living with depression anymore.

 

 

it's just living.

The End

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