Open Letter to My Depression

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I’m going on an airplane,
and I don’t know if I’ll be back again
This is a public service announcement: LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!

I thought I got rid of you and your stalker ways but you’ve been following me for days
You pry when I sleep
You cry when I wake
You leave me in an anxious state
You’re like a stuttering engine that fires up in my lungs
You grip them, almost to their full capacity til I struggle to breathe
Then you tease
You tingle my fingertips
I take a deep breath
You never let me forget
How you digest me like food and invade my womb
I feel you there
You’re all tight tissue and unborn baby temper tantrums
I feel your pulse intertwined with mine
Now the two are racing faster
That tingle you tease me with is reaching its peak
You cheat
This is not like the height of an orgasm
It’s more like the shrill of my devil’s screech
My eye lids flutter
The world is moving too quickly
I stretch my hands out to gain my balance, only to watch them tremble
What’s wrong with me?
No full moon but it’s like a werewolf is taking over me
I groan. It feels like a growl…
Not this again
You make me leave the room, afraid for anyone to see who I become
What I become…
You prowl the perimeter of my spinal cord
Tightening my bundle of tissue
Separating me from my brain, from my God self
til I’m just a bunch of nerves
Central to a system that’s long forgotten who its owner is
Now the onus is on me to remind it of who it is
Of who I am
Of who I was
When the ancestors strode the earth barefoot, connected to the source of the most high
The poet. The novelist. The misfit
The SURVIVOR

Now the height of the fight in the werewolf begins to retreat
It moves itself from my womb to my stomach, tying itself in knots
I’d wretch but I don’t want to release the real demons who hide thread-deep in the quilt of my insecurities
They’re restrained there by the blanket of my confidence whose hospital corners make it nearly impossible to check out of Heart Break Hotel
Cause that’s what’ll happen if those demons get out
Everyone’s heart will break at the news of my demise, by my own doing
Not knowing that my demons were the root of all evil all along
So much so that I’ve named them…

Exhausted: She creeps behind my eyelids but refuses to sleep,
choosing to spread her hammock across the bags under my eyes
Whenever I try to close the curtain to her freak show, she lights a fire hot enough to burn me into submission
She battles with herself too so sometimes we sleep – together

Lonely: He has trouble getting in touch with his feminine side. He would love to be domestic but the lost years have taught him that it’s safer to hide beneath head wraps and stainless steel. His small, stubby fingers are not strong enough to carry the weight of the trafficked world but he does anyway because it’s lighter than the code of silence
He used to find solace in strange beds and fancy cars
That was the only place he allowed himself to feel vulnerable, to be taken
But, the mattresses wore out and the cars ran out of gas
So, he was left to parlay with his ego,
betting it that he was stronger
He usually won but sometimes…

Ego: LOOK AT ME! LISTEN TO ME! LOOK AT ME! LISTEN TO ME! I WANT ALL THE CREDIT! GIVE THANKS TO ME!
My future man can’t be cuter than me
You’re going to realize what you lost (ME!) and you’re going to regret it with every fiber of your being
And I want to be there to see it!
FUCK YOU! YOU DON’T DESERVE IT! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!
Confused little ego
She, I mean he, I mean she
I mean… Fuck it
You don’t know whether you want to be LOUD or quiet
IN the spotlight or a hermit
LISTEN TO ME or leave me alone
Are you even ego? Or are you lonely? We may never know

Longing: She lives in every moment but the present one
Physically, she’s here but if you look in her eyes, she is never home
She misses walks to school, cuddles with big sis, puppy love, having no worries, being young (before child births and child deaths)
Her innocence and ignorance
She wishes that she could have what’s coming to her – cause she knows it’s coming
She wants to travel but she can’t afford to
Nearly every moment spent waiting is threatened by the werewolf’s return
Someone whispers to her, “Be still”
but ego says she doesn’t deserve it
There’s more to this roll call – this class is in session
But the rest of my demons are absent
and that’s almost what hurts the most
When even my demons don’t want to come to class
So I’m left to sit at my desk all alone, feeling empty and numb
Until my depression calls my impulsion to the office

We head there with the same stuttering engine firing up in my lungs
It’s well after midnight by now
I gulp down internal sobs and plead with my hands to stop shaking
There’s nothing left to do but book a flight ’cause if I don’t get out of here…
I may not live to tell the story (or so it feels)
I end my hunt for a tropical paradise and decide to go home to a place that never felt like my own
But I knew there would be love there
Still inscribed on the callouses of my father’s hard working hands
Still being pried from the tears of my mother’s laughing eyes
Still in the firm grip of my previously incarcerated sister
I left at 6am and to my surprise
Love also lingered in the loneliest eyes
It was in the “Excuse us” and “My bad” that followed private parties
It was inhaled through musically inclined nostrils
It was swallowed after glasses clinked, like: “CHEERS TO THE GOOD LIFE!”
But where there is love, there is also ignorance
’cause those who haven’t lived it will never understand
And even if they tried, love sometimes blinds
They wonder how you can survive and still want to live
So they’ll demonize you and question the length of time you spent in hell,
or how you can still lay with the devil
But, I’ve been demonized before so I know that I never have to choose between the pieces of myself
Whether it be the shattered pieces of 2009
or the fragile pieces that childhood tears seemed to have soaked beyond absorption
So leave me here with all of my contradictions

I promise: They’ll all make sense one day

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