I will not deny it, things haven’t been so easy as of late. I seem to have slipped into some kind of comfortable sadness; some form of loving loneliness. This is how things used to be, not how they should be now. But I suppose that is the artistry of depression, it cares not for circumstance.

I really should be grateful, thankful. All of the self-help books push gratitude as the holy prescription; as if somehow, if you list out twenty things a day you are indebted to, the weighted slippers begin to fall off, and you walk out of the muck. I wrote out ten things, twelve days ago, and I haven’t had the heart to do it again. I yell and scream and kick holes in the walls of our new home. I dig and claw and infest my way under my husband’s skin, until he turns his back on me. I cry and plead and begin to care, but really I am silent and stoic and showing no emotion. I don’t need him becomes I don’t want him. And just like that, every other day, depression pushes me once again, to ‘alone.’

My husband will drive off and I will fall to the floor crying. I will lay there, atop cat litter, and curl into the pain. I will listen to the garage door closing outside, believing that I can tell my husband, telepathically, to come back. But he won’t hear me. And I won’t bother getting up trying to stop him. The damage is done, he hates you. And I will believe it. And I will go upstairs and find the knife. And the fucking pain builds and builds and rips and tears and shreds and pushes and pushes and PUSHES …. until. Sigh. I will pick up that knife and run it along my forehead. Softly, at first. Like meeting an old lover, unsure of the consequences. I haven’t seen you in so long. It stings. I haven’t felt you in so long. Harder. No blood, not too deep. Just enough to know it’s there. My husband cannot know. He won’t understand. I turn the knife over and bang it against my head. One. Two. Three. I continue until there is a throb. And then I stop, and I get up, and I find my phone.

“I am sorry. Sorry that I made you hate me. I’m ashamed, embarrassed. Please forgive me for being so cruel.” I hit send and pray that my husband excuses my antics. I have everything I ever dreamed of having. I should be thankful. I should be grateful. And yet …

Woven inside of me, are things of evil. The dark friend visits me again, until I realize that he never left; until I realize, that he is never leaving. So many things I would like to do, so many things I would like to say. They tell me to fight, tell me that things will get better, easier, that my dark friend will, one day, go away. Oh, how beautiful it must be for them, to fight and win. How envious I am of their power and conviction. I know they truly believe in what they are saying; sharing their gospel, feeling a responsibility to save others the way they were saved. They do not realize that some of us, well, some of us are cursed to carry this burden until our dying breaths. We do not waste our time believing in the fairy tale of “remission.” No, we focus on the ever heavy task of trying to learn how to live with it.

In the end, I suppose that I am in fact thankful. I am still alive, still breathing.I am thankful that I still have the opportunity to continue learning to live with this dark friend. And for a husband that stays with us both.

29 thoughts on “thankful

  1. HI sweetie, I’ve commented on your posts before but this one is very familiar to me, it’s like looking in a mirror at my past. Please message me when you feel up to it. I (along with all your readers) care for you. I hate to see you suffering.

  2. Yes! Be thankful … it sucks for sure, but be thankful. Or, if you can’t right now, I will be thankful for you until you can. I JUST wen through this with my boyfriend. I’m still there, actually. It doesn’t go away unfortunately and I hate it and … whatever. This is your post and it is written so well… I hate that you were able to write it so well because that means that you are in soooooo much pain… does that make sense? But, oh…. how well you wrote it! Please hang in there….

  3. I know what you mean, what you’re living. It’s not fun in the least, but a certain amount of gratitude does grow out of realising how loved we are, despite it all.
    Stay strong. You are beautiful, and loved. ❤

  4. Erica. I cannot profess to know the depths of pain & sadness you are feeling, but if knowing that there are people out there who care about you, who feel such heartache for your pain, helps you in any way, then count me in.

    I am thankful you are still & still fighting. Wishing you a peaceful heart this Thanksgiving.

  5. I could list useless platitudes in a bid to help stiffle the feelings, but I won’t. It wouldn’t help and while socially acceptable to do, it offers little to an end.

    Instead I suggest that your feelings will not change easily, but what you do with them, what they inspire from you and bring out of you is a choice. Not an easy one mind you, but a choice nevertheless.

    Instead of trying to cut it out like some invisible toxic invader maybe you can use it to do more, to be more than you could be without it.

    After all, it sounds like this is a part of you, make it a strength, not a weakness because as you know cutting it out would be a fools errand and some of the most beautiful things come from that seemingly ugly and toxic bit of you.

    What I’m saying is I love you, don’t change who you are, just try to embrace i. Or at the least, tolerate it.

    Then again maybe I’m just full of shit, but I have been in your shoes and really, I still am.

  6. still no matter what i wish you a happy Thanksgiving, even if it’s not your best this year.
    i am thankful i came upon your blog a while ago.

  7. Erica, I must admit the thought of you being in that dark place provoked and audible sign of sadness. At the same time, I have confidence and trust in your strength as a person that you — as you have before — will find your way through. Your prespective and honesty, as a person and a writer, are treasures to many who struggle. The knife across your forehead makes me shudder; the fact that you stop short of drawing blood makes me hopeful. Hopefully it does for you as well.

      • You’ve come such a long way in your life since those early posts, Erica. Sometimes it’s easy for us to lose sight of where we’ve been because we’re looking for a way to get to where we want to be. Keep moving forward at your own pace, and remember to look back from time to time. You and your writing are both special and rare.

  8. What helped me is when one day i envisioned this evil thing inside me as an ugly, terrible, misunderstood evil monster child that had no where else to go. Of course it was so angry! For the first time, i pitied it. I said, ok Thing. I’ll let you stay, I’ll even take care of you, protect you. But we need to make a deal. Because if you end up killing me, you’ll have no where else to go. So you can stay, and I’ll let you out once in awhile, but you need to promise when i say ENOUGH, you stop. And little by little, me and the Darkness found a way to coexist. It takes work, but never give up. Xo

  9. I believe in you. The evil is vicious I know. The dark friend comes and goes and leaves you on the floor in its wake. I relate to your writing so much. I have written several posts that mirror yours. Although you are a better writer 😉 I still believe in you!

  10. You are an amazing writer, I will be following you from now.
    It is often the most talented of us who fight the dark the most, my heart goes to you, I am glad you have someone there for you, as I know others who don’t

  11. I really like the way you describe your demons. I also have them – yet my past is not so dark or bad or anything, but – I know this fight so well. I think you are brave, you live with it and you write it down. I think this is brave.


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