I’m not ok.
It’s the sole thought that keeps running through my mind at this moment, and though I try to convince myself otherwise, though I manage to convince even myself that I’m fine, I know that this “not ok” has been lingering there beneath the surface for the past few weeks, maybe even months, taking its time as it rises to the surface as I struggle to push it back down, to keep it all at bay.
I’m not ok. I will be, I know this, I’m sure of it, but I’m not now. And right now, I don’t know how to get ok.
I have been contending with insecurities in a battle I feel I can’t win, doing the one thing I always swore I never would — comparing myself to others and, by that, questioning my own self-worth. In doing so I see myself changing these past few weeks into someone I don’t recognize, someone I don’t like. I can sense myself becoming selfish and self-centered, impatient and unkind; I feel as if all of those things I once valued have been buried under misunderstandings, mistakes, and failures as I struggle to control things I know I can’t, as I struggle to bring my life back into focus, into balance. As I struggle to hold onto the last shred of me.
Depression is a deep, dark, and lonely place and especially hard to admit. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you’re in it until you get out of it. But I’ve been here before, I recognize it, and I know that this isn’t normal, know this isn’t really me. I don’t know when it began or why, and I don’t quite know how to make it end and get back that light that seems to have grown so dim. But I want to. I desperately, desperately want to.
I used to see the world as a place full of hope and good, used to find beauty in everything that surrounded me, the colors so bright and vibrant, everything alive. But now it’s like there’s a thick film across my vision, masking everything in shades of gray. My once optimistic self has turned cynical, and the hope, motivation, and strength — the renewal I felt upon returning from France — has waned.
I find myself going through the motions now, doing things because I force myself to, because I have to, not because I want to. The things that used to bring me the greatest joy now spark momentary hope and excitement before I fall back to insecurity — thoughts of “I can’t do this” and “what does it matter.” And the fear and anxiety that had once dissipated has returned, albeit not completely full-force. I won’t let that happen again.
I find myself seeking my old comfort-zones. I find myself shedding responsibility in order to find solace in writing or dreams because it’s easier than facing the world. I find myself wanting to be there for others, wanting to be selfless, but I’m so clouded by my own thoughts, so stuck in the situations that are going on around me, that I feel myself slipping away from compassion and towards antipathy. That’s not me. That has never been me. And these new feelings scare me. I’m lost. And I’m scared because I’m lost. And I don’t know how to find it all again.
But I will. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but I know who I am at the core and I won’t let myself become defeated. Still, I feel a little defeated now — a hypocrite, stubbornly hiding under a mask in the hopes that I can do this on my own, a barrage of emotion that I want to escape, though I know that I can’t.
I’ve done the hard part now; I feel a little bit of that weight has been lifted with this admission. But there’s still so much more left. And now I have to stand up and face it all head-on. And I will.
But, I admit, I’m a little afraid to do that, too.