I’m not talking much about what’s going on, but it’s on the edges of everything I do. And when I’m not doing, I’m drowning.
Does it even matter what is causing the darkness?
I don’t know. I wish that I wrote anonymously so I could tell you and hide from everyone else.
But I hide from most everyone anyway so don’t feel left out. I answer I’m fine. I’m fine on my couch curled up in a ball alternating between breathing and crying, frantically calling my husband until I get no answer and find myself sitting on my hands promising myself it will pass.
And it does. For an hour.
Mostly, I walk around waiting for someone to say or do the wrong thing so I can scream at them like I can’t scream at my children. When there’s no one to blame, I find those who are to blame for other things. I hate them so I can hate something that isn’t my life.
I am awake until well past midnight every night except for the nights I can’t keep my eyes open past 8 p.m..
When I don’t sleep, the morning world develops a film that keeps it at bay. The sounds are blurry and kind until I hit the moment usually around 2 p.m. where my body whispers I’m human and I need to sit. Suddenly, the pebble in my shoe is a nail, and I cannot stop the pain.
I alternate between bottomless sympathy and blinding frustration until my husband comes home from work and I hide behind my phone until bedtime.
When I stare at the ceiling in the soft darkness crying for my weakness, for my lack of sleep, for my lack of faith, for my lack of caring. And for my guilt. Oh my God, the guilt.
And it doesn’t matter who knows or doesn’t know why I am sad and angry and small. No one can fix it.
The darkness is the same for me as for you. The way the world grows narrow distant like looking through a telescope from the wrong end. If you have traveled this road, you have traveled this road. The cause or cure matter less than the road signs.
I see the pinpricks of light. Sometimes the light is Make Dinner. Sometimes the light is Call a Friend. Sometimes the light is Brush Teeth. I gather up these lights like berries in a basket and when I finally fall asleep someone must steal them to lay out the path again for me because every morning there it is again.
But it’s the only way out. Even if I’m mostly going in circles.
When you asked how are you, I accidentally answered I’m fine.
I’m usually not a liar. I’m just that tired.
Being fine is my reflex.
The darkness is familiar because I’ve been here before. I have come for many reasons. Have you have been here, too? The place of accidental fine. The place of tiny light berries. The place of loneliness. The place of screams. Where Why Me and Get Over It grow tall like sunflowers.
I am amazed at my body’s ability to work when my mind is fighting off itself. Where does it put the dead? Or maybe, why haven’t some of these thoughts died yet? I’m fighting so hard.
I once described myself as a tornado, whirling up others in my drama and fun until I moved away to wreak havoc on someone new. But tornadoes are not constant. They appear and disappear. And the tornado isn’t even me. It’s life. Appearing.
It’s me, disappearing.
I miss the light.
I miss the normal.
I know that the hate will kill me before the darkness does. So I love others. I move forward and around and sometimes I stand still holding my own hand. Which is like holding my children. They are so many pieces of me. Walking around. Bumping into the mean angry world where my hands cannot protect them.
I am not fine.
I wish I knew how far from fine I am.