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  • "My brain chemistry, my childhood trauma, my self-harming behavior are not my identity." The Beth Gilstrap killing it, killing me, in "When I Feel My Breath Start To Go" at Little Fiction|Big Truths.

    You may find "When I Feel My Breath Start To Go" here, though there is excerpt below as well, because no excerpt just doesn't seem right.

    January, 2018

    My partner and I have gotten into another argument and I have retreated to my bedroom. I’ve hung white lights over my bed like a valance to make it seem less sad that we are sleeping apart. A print with a Dumbledore quote. Paper snowflake lanterns. Polka dot linens. But the space can’t save the moment. I curl myself as small as I can on the far side of the bed. Knees into chest. Hands in fists on the top of my head. My whole body tightens and coils. I cannot stop crying. I almost vomit. In my head, a thought on repeat. Don’t hurt yourself. I squeeze my hands as hard as I can, leaving deep crescent marks in my palms. My partner puts his hand on my shoulder. I tell him I don’t deserve comfort, but my words are so jumbled he doesn’t understand. I layer up and walk. Sometimes, it’s all I know to do: walk until my brain quiets. I walk in twenty-degree weather for an hour until he comes to find me. Makes me get in the car. I thank him for coming to get me. I take my Clonazepam and Celexa and try to sleep myself better. I stay in bed for two more days.

  • "Words are important to me, perhaps more as someone in a constant struggle with mental illness than as a writer." And now we pause to share the amazing essay "The Language of Depression" by Ryan W. Bradley at Bull.

    You may find "The Language of Depression" here, though there is excerpt below as well, because no excerpt just doesn't seem right.

    “'Sad” is a word that has lost it’s meaning. It is a depressive “cute.” Its connotations have morphed into a childish descriptor. But how do I say that I am tired of feeling this way all the time, because the meaning of “depressed” has changed as well. It is a catch-all, a fishing net ten times the size of the boat. “When I was first aware that I had been laid low by the disease,” William Styron writes in Darkness Visible, “I felt a need, among other things, to register a strong protest against the word ‘depression.’

    "I don’t have the words to both illustrate how I feel and assuage the concerns of those around me. Maybe those words don’t exist."