Depression is some sneaky ass shit. It wears socks and walks on tip toes, creeping up from behind. The weight of it descends gradually, ounce by ounce, so I don’t notice it hitching a ride. I’m trudging along, slowed and stymied by it, but it all happens so gradually that I don’t notice the extra weight. One day to the next, it feels normal. I lose all perspective, lose track of the fact that all I feel like is shit and it never used to be this way.
It’s all in my head, anyway. Literally. All. In my head. It’s not like when you break your leg and have to walk on crutches. Then everyone can see your handicap, why it’s been several days since you showered, or why you haven’t left your house in over a week. But when that handicap is the fucked up chemicals in your brain, it doesn’t look or feel like anything should keep you from living your life.
Then there’s a day when I screw up every ounce of oomph and caring I have and pour it into the space inside my brain that controls things like hygiene and leaving the house. That’s the day you see me. It’s the best that things are going to get, the best that I am going to get. I wouldn’t make it out of the house if I didn’t find the part of me that cares about something—you. I’m surprised to find I care about much these days.
Yet, as you sit across from me and tell me about your life, I can’t care about it much at all. I’m running low to empty on cares, all used up in the getting here. I’m already looking forward to going home, to sinking into the sofa and not working so hard. When you tell me your tales, I work to put on the right faces, say the right things, sound the right way. I feel like an alien in my own skin, trying to approximate myself. This face means sad. This one, thoughtful. This one, happy.
You are my friend. I want to please you.
What’s new with me, you ask? That’s the thing. Nothing’s new. Nothing. I spent my week watching episode after episode of a stupid show on Netflix, caring but not caring. Numb to the world around me, to my own feelings threatening to overwhelm me.
Misdirection is the best tool of a magician. I’ll use it to distract, deflect attention from what’s really going on, a dark secret that I don’t really want to admit or address. If I don’t look at it, maybe it’ll go away, maybe it didn’t happen, maybe it’s not true. I’ll tell you that I feel numb and wonder what the point is in getting out of bed in the morning, but all in a perfunctory sort of way.
Quick! Look over here, where I’ve prepared a few anecdotes that the real Megan would have found funny. So I, Not-Megan, tell them to you, move the conversation forward and away.
Blink and you’ll miss it.
I feel like I’m faking it. I am fake. So I feel shitty. I am shitty. I judge myself. All of it makes me feel worse than I started out this morning. So exhausting.
I think I need some down time to recover. How many seasons are left in that stupid show?