The Dreams That Slip Away
I guess you could say that it’s not the smartest idea to listen to a depressed person. But I’d have to say that their depression is a great reason to listen if you want to do something kind for them. It may not be ideal for you, but for them, it is the best medicine and advice possible. If you really wanted to do something nice for them.
Right now I’m supposed to finishing my homework. I’m supposed to be at the gym. I’m supposed to be hanging out with my friends, laughing. Life tells me that’s where I’m supposed to be.
But I am sitting in my room alone, listening to Death Cab for Cutie’s “A Lack of Color” instead. Because I can’t bring myself to do anything else.
I haven’t showered. That’s not a good sign.
Depression has signs. Personally, I don’t believe that people kill themselves without signs. There are always words in their head, waiting to emerge, and when they are shut up they usually come out in different ways. I can tell how bad I am getting if these things start happening:
*I start staring off into space around my friends or family all the time
*When laughing feels forced
*Lots of fidgeting
*My eyes look different in the mirror
*If I start avoiding my reflection
*Consumption of tons of junk food when I’m not hungry
*Loss of appetite
*Sleeping longer/taking naps
*Staying up in my room for hours, staring at the walls
*Inability to get out of bed
*Lack of showering
*I pull away from my loved ones
*Saying “Nothing!” a lot
*Bad daydreams about doing awful things to myself
*Self-esteem goes down the toilet
I’d rather not say how many of those things I’m currently experiencing. They’re all pretty personal.
Whoops, that was a sign right there—I bet you didn’t even catch it. It falls into the “pulling away” category, because if there’s any time I’m honest, it’s when I’m writing. I never lie when I write. Unless it’s something for school.
There’s no reason to lie when you’re writing if no one will ever read what you write.
That sounds pretty bad, doesn’t it? But it’s true. Even if I die young, I thought the other day, my family will probably throw out everything I’ve wrote because it won’t matter to them. What use is a bunch of old papers, anyway? It was a depressing thought, to picture the pages I’ve poured my soul out onto crumpled in the trash. It kind of makes me want to throw up.
*Wanting to throw up
That’s a new one. When I get really stressed out now, I feel like I want to puke. Mostly I just want to throw up my life.
“A Lack of Color” really does fit the moment here, because I can only describe how I feel as seeing the world gray. Gray smiles, gray skies, gray… Tears aren’t gray, they’re still clear. They still feel real. Hugs aren’t gray; they make me want to cry. They’re real because I’m scared and someone cares for those split seconds. I always want to hold onto people longer, but they pull away.
And here I am crying. Stupid symbolism. Stupid truth.
Maybe if the sky wasn’t actually gray today I’d feel better. Maybe if I did go to the gym I’d feel better. Maybe if I shower, if I call my boyfriend or my friends or go outside. Maybe a lot of things could happen.
But nothing happens when I wake up in the mornings. Nothing changes. Nothing is fixed. I still remember why I went to sleep crying.
But I don’t remember my dreams.
Dreams are kind of funny things. They make you excited to live, but also scared. Because these great expectations and possibilities might not happen, and what will you do if that’s the case?
The dreams you have when you are asleep are funny too. You can go back into time in your mind, remember someone’s face and voice and smile and jokes. Remember how that all made you feel. Even at the most inconvenient times.
And where does it all leave you? Where are you in this gray world?
I know I am in my room, writing words no one will read. Probably making it all worse.
The truth is, even though dreams are scary, what is even scarier is when you can’t feel them anymore. When you have given up on them, given up on the future. Because you don’t even know where you are in life right now, so how are you supposed to build the perfect life for yourself if you’re not even happy with the one you have now?
When you have depression, happiness becomes your dream. Your best, brightest, most important dream. The one you want the most.
I hope the world learns to treasure its happiness, spread it, make the best of it. It’s like a playlist to life, because songs have to sometimes be paused when you need to listen to what is going on around you. Happiness is paused, but the play button is only a reach away. I think if you have depression, someone has hit pause and fast-forward, so that more happiness and time passes by in moments of sadness. The play button is two reaches away, but still there.
You’re supposed to reach for your dreams. Life tells us that’s what you’re supposed to do.
I know happiness is possible, that it is a dream that can come true again; I just am having trouble reaching for it.
Maybe I am looking for it in the wrong places. Maybe I’m just getting tired of chasing it. Maybe I’m scared that once I catch it, it will just keep slipping away.
But don’t listen to this.
After all, what is the use of reading about happiness from someone who is constantly struggling to have some?
Originally written: 3/11/12