I have two sisters, but so much of me can be explained when it’s discovered that I spent many years as an only child. Even though I’ve had my sisters for over half my life at this point, there is still so much of me that was solidified in those first 12-13 years of life as an only.
I saw the worried look on my therapist’s face when I asserted to him that my “plan” for the weekend was to not do anything with anyone. He doesn’t know me or understand my context. Depression or not, I was sorely in need of time to myself to reset and recharge. Quite frankly, I’d exhausted myself by being social and pretending or maybe trying to fake it til I made it to happy.
I got into the shower today and tried to name it. Wanting it to be anything but depression. Even though I knew exactly what it was. This sadness I said out loud to my own ears is gripping and pervasive. Unsure of how to maneuver through my university to take care of a few things without being too seen, I said very little to anyone. Until I saw Zachary…who, I think, knew. He’s magic like that. I told him very briefly what was going on. He asked me if I’d considered giving into it? I told him I should because clearly it was going to win anyway.
Solitude and even depression, he said, it teaches us something. Even in the week since I called attention to my own severe unraveling, I’d learned a great deal. I learned that I was ready to go home and not fleeing or running but because I need family near me and it’s time. I learned a great deal about relationships…how expectations can set up great disappointments. I learned about acceptance and forgiveness, of others and myself. And while the lessons aren’t complete, I’m beginning. That in the face of a darkness who has a vice grip on your spine is enough for me to trust that “giving into it” may not be a bad idea.
So right now I’m laying in darkness. No music no television no one else but me and the whir of my fans. I am actively avoiding my roommate, nothing personal, but I just so need this time to be. And I realized also that I was starting to resent situations that asked me to be anything other than what I was, which was sad. Being sad alone for me is okay, but with others it becomes a burden. I don’t feel the weight of my grey when I am alone. So I am keeping to myself.
I still don’t want to get dressed. I still don’t want to talk. I could not be more over sunshine and warm days. I wish it would rain for a million different reasons. I still want to cut off all my hair, I cannot promise that I won’t. I am taking it hour by hour.
When you’re an only, you get to be selfish without being called selfish. You get to be a loner. You get to be autonomous and who cares if you’re moody or don’t want to wear pants? There is no audience to play to…and that’s your preference.
So I’m having a tea party for my depression and I. It’s more Morticia Addams than Emily Post, and that’s okay. There is an opportunity to learn something I’m missing…I’ve been missing.
Maybe the first lesson is to not try to be something I’m not. Maybe the second is to accept my mess. Maybe the third is to listen to my life when it speaks, even when I don’t like the song.