I have never written about my depression, my anxiety, and my panic attacks directly before. Not here, and not in any systematic discussion. They may have been passed by in mention, but I have never looked at them straight, with my face, as words on the screen and attached to me.
I am suffering from all of them right now, tremendously. But I’m not writing for a reaching out. I’m writing as a reaching in.
You see, I wrote a poem to my lover a little over an hour ago. I wrote a poem he may never see. It’s about being in this darkening and knowing there’s a glowing behind me. This poem-like-thing is about the only time I wasn’t suffering from the pain of being alive. He was my only place without pain in the last three years. I must have burdened him an immeasurable, unconscious weight—taxing us because I don’t know how to be a self.
There’s pills and therapy for my pain that I refuse to take. Most of the time, I can live with it. But, today, after these last few weeks, after the pressure of these last few months, before the pressure of graduating and working somewhere (anywhere), the pain has me in a prerecorded stupor. A permanent car alarm. I jump at a pinch. A sweet pat on my head, by a friend, and a thousand pictures of once come like shock waves in my back.
So I quit my job. I realized that I need to cut off anything that is toxic to me right now. Or else the pain becomes something no pill or skilled conversation can handle. And I don’t have the money for an ambulance ride to a 5150. I know what that looks like coming.
Would a hug make it lessen? His? It’s been so long since then that I don’t know. And I ruined the chance of finding out. Because I can’t get there. I would need to be carried. And…
So I wrote a something:
i started feeling the fear i had the night i left
the night our fingers had to let go
we were going to go too long without what would keep us together
and we’ve passed that point, haven’t we?
my only love.
our bodies have forgotten
a frost splinters around your eyes
a crystalline fantasy of impenetrable atrophy
my lips stuck to this glass fortress
baby, let me in
and i wither into mania.
not even my skin wants to be close to me.
i feel like i’m always asking permission to be part of myself
how i cannot stop the fear of this eternal ongoing:
will we be hungry forever?
nightmares of a $777 gas bill placards my midnights
i wake up sweating, racing, and clinging onto nothing
what if i just needed you there?
to hold me before i panic through the night
can you imagine my days, then?
scared of paper, of mail, of males.
don’t touch me! every part of my body screams.
i cannot make it stop.
you were the only one whose touch wouldn’t hurt my thoughts.
finally. i whispered to myself.
i know. i’m too broken. too fucked up.
a man was able to take every last part of me poverty hadn’t torched with infirmary.
days when it takes everything just to leave
to get in the shower.
the idea of leaving terrifies me.
you ain’t gonna want that.
sure, i’m strong. but not in these ways.
my own vulnerability used against me.
i didn’t even know.
fuck was i haughty
so he drug it through the underneaths of my skin
so i’d see my scars every time i closed my eyes
the images manifest
scorching peril of memory
all the girls, so many of us, we know.
how do we live on?
that me, she’s gone.
she would have loved you right.
my brother nursing me through panic attack just now, he told me
that my and your souls loved each other.
he knows vespers better than anyone.
and if he’s right, that’s it.
i cannot cut you out.
but i can say goodbye.
where our pulses collide.
that’s where we’ll always be.
even if we never glance again.
never kiss your texture again.
never name the fire of my irises with your eyes again
the fire will still be named you.
and i’ll fight the screams i sleep by carrying memory.
waiting for the someday of a conjoined dream.
i wrote this, and then my body convulsed. i was going to be sick. and the strangest, yet saddest thing happened. there wasn’t enough in me to dry-heave. i was too empty. that’s hunger. that’s a depression i didn’t know i had. a feeling of absolutely no feeling.
but i’m writing. i’m still a thinking being.