Archive for July, 2015

Risk Pitch, long version

I spent a good portion of my early twenties in a haze of undiagnosed depression and severe anxiety. It wasn’t new to me. I’d felt the same way throughout middle school and high school. (And I guess elementary school, too, because I recall my 5th grade teacher calling me a “worry wart.”) Nevertheless, the fact remained that I was not at all well, but I had lived with anxiety and a bone-deep sense of melancholy for so long that it felt normal. It seemed normal to me to regularly spend 5 hours on my couch, in my crummy apartment where I lived alone, compulsively reading while the light failed. It felt normal to me to be so acutely uncomfortable around other people that I never had close friends. And while I knew it wasn’t normal, it didn’t surprise me to wake up every morning disappointed that I wasn’t dead.

Still, there were some perks to being a severely depressed young woman. For one, sensitive male-types found it endearingly romantic. So, I got a lot of ass. Which didn’t really fix things, of course. But fuck it. Orgasms are nice! Secondly, I wrote a lot back then. Not stories or poems, I’d tried the poem thing in high school and the results were, well, painfully bad. They were just, I dunno, little vignettes? Little metaphors for how sad I was. (So fucking profound, am I right? Heh.) Anyway, some of them weren’t bad. Even now I’m not embarrassed by them. But I can’t tap into that ability any more. Writing used to be a pressure valve, a way to siphon off some of the pain. . . and I’m not in pain anymore.

The final perk of my incessant depression was the fact that good moments felt sooo fucking good. It is as if my subconscious knew that I wasn’t going to feel anything nice again for a long, long time and so blew all my happy juice on the simplest of things. Like, “Oooooh, a pretty flower! Life is so amazing!” Or, “Oh, you talked to someone about the weather? Connecting with people is great!” Or, “Hey! Your bedroom ceiling is leaking.  It’s soooo beautiful!!” Yeah, that’s right folks. I thought it was beautiful that my bedroom ceiling was leaking. The reason? The rainwater was pouring down the wall so heavily that it looked like a river meandering across the surface of the old, peeling paint. I pressed my fingers against the wall, and the water was cool to the touch, and the light was glinting off of the trickles making it sparkle, and the appearance of a river in my apartment was such a surprise, such a distraction from the day to day effort of not killing myself that it felt like a present. And I was, if briefly, full of joy. And there are times when I miss that sense of profundity.

Now that I am medicated, and I am doing great by the way (never been better, actually), I don’t wake up disappointed that I woke up. I don’t suffer debilitating existential crises about the inevitable heat death of the universe every other evening. Basically, my unhappiness, when I am unhappy, is directly proportional to the unhappy things in my life. But, even though I don’t wish for death anymore, I can’t help but feel that the part of me that wanted to die. . . did. Because the part of me that reveled in my leaking roof, instead of just being pissed that I lived in such a shitty fucking apartment (which I did), is gone now.

And sometimes I miss her.


Snippets from a Close-up of a Sculpture

Original heirs

began to die

in a web of branches

at the center of the world

like something static,

or a blade dulled.


Too adrift to see the expanse,

Around a sense of balance.


Down in the water that only gets deeper,

I’m more arid still.


Through the look he gave me,

The first point the eyes fall on

Were his wet boots.