There are days where everything is dark, while others seem to be pure light. What is different, in fact, is the perspective from which we observe them, the way we look to things and ourselves. At a time, there is a small deviation from the path and the courage to turn the page to see. To find out that at the bottom there are not two days of the same. Because everything changes, even ourselves.
Outside it’s still dark. The only light is the alarm screen, which marks 4 and 29. I do not remember being asleep or remembering when it may be. Surely it was midnight, even though I was in bed long before.
It’s soon, too soon. But I know that I cannot close my eyes, at least for a while. It is weeks that goes like this: a handful of hours a night before another day at work, wishing nothing but a bit of peace. A bit of silence, a deserved and long rest.
He is sleeping across the bed. It seems to have a smile printed in the face even when it sleeps. I wonder how to do it, what you find beautiful to smile. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a lot I do not laugh.
The other day she came to see my sister together with my granddaughter. How I would like to be like him: careless, enthusiastic, lightweight. I’m light just sleeping. I often remember what my sister told me that day: “Well, my dear, I cannot see you like this. What do you have? What happened to you? What’s wrong?” In my mind, I have everything to be happy, and no reason not to be.
I’m tired, very tired! I do not feel like going to work today. To be honest I do not even have to shower, eat, dress, fix my bed. Actually, I do not even want to stay in bed, but always better than thinking of getting up.
I’ll tell I do not feel well, I’ll stay in bed to rest. I already see it, with the expression of those who do not even believe it a bit. But what sense did she tell you that I cannot help but stay under the blankets, in a fetal position, surrounded by paper handkerchiefs to try to tear the tears in full? A river descending from my swollen eyes but without causing any lament, almost the reflection of a body that suffers.
I do not even know why I cry so much. Before the faucets open, I feel only a sense of chest suppression, which seems to pass. At least for a while.
I’m so disgusting. I’ve always been an active and solar woman, at least so the others told me. Now I look like the shadow of myself. The useless projection of my body exposed to light. It would be so small to eliminate any pain, any feeling of uselessness. It should just turn off the light.
For the moment, there is only that of the alarm clock.
I try to get the strength to lift from my bed, put my feet to the ground and sit on the edge of the bed. I did not sleep a lot, but even if I did it for eight hours in a row, I would not feel rested.
I woke up a few minutes before the alarm clock, but it does not matter much. What matters is that hoof that I still found shortly after opening my eyes. And the silence of this room, no longer its mild snoring.
In the last few weeks, I have understood something important. I am the one to nourish my pain. In fact, my depression. Yeah, I got this illness. An important person explained to me, which helped me to name a name that was unnamed.
It’s as if every morning, while I was fasting, I had a rich breakfast in the shadow of myself. Every time I stayed in the bed, with bare eyes staring at the ceiling, it was like serving croissant and cappuccino to the part of me that dragged me deeply.
By the way, I’m getting hungry. Who do I feed today, myself or my shadow? It is very easy to give up the temptation to raise a white flag, but now I know what the consequences would be. If I do not get out of bed, I know I’ll stay all day. And I cannot afford it. I know I can get up from bed, even if I do not feel like I’m doing it. Just put a foot on the floor. Here it is.
What a hard job, though. If I think of the day almost waiting for me I’ll drop it down. But these were not the deal with myself. Okay, I take my agenda on the bedside table. I know what to do in the next few minutes, but re-reading it helps me. It helps me to remember that after “this” there is “that”, but above all that to “that” we can get there.
Get rid of your face. Drink a glass of water. Put on coffee. Prepare breakfast (“although I’m not hungry,” I added). Shower. Dressing. Make up. Go out.
I always liked eating cookies. So we decided that I would give the “push” so. In the agenda, there is a small table where I sign how it was cooked that day. That is, how much satisfaction I felt. When I started, I did not even think of being able to try a whiff of pleasure in doing anything, even those that before gave me a great joy. Those numbers that every day sign in my agenda show me the opposite. At a time, I rediscovered how much I like to cook. How good it makes me feel. Cook for me, not for the shadow.
After preparing the breakfast I usually feel better. Just a little, just enough to start the day. It is not easy, it is not at all. But I found out that in the end is little, and that little I know I can do.
Strange, I did not even hear them before. I guess they’ve always been there, but maybe I never did. Although it is winter, although the sun seems to play hide-and-seek with the clouds, they sing regardless.
“Good morning,” I say. A little smile, just for me. I get up in a hurry, yawning lazily. It’s pretty early, but there’s a bit of light. I’m going to the living room, but first I open the wardrobe to take my cushion. I put it on the carpet and I sit over, crossed legs. Some time to look around and settle me comfortably. A couple of good breaths and let go. Simply sit with me.
Outside there is silence, apart from the littering of the garbage truck, my faithful companion of meditation. It does not bother me at all. Indeed, it helps me to remember that the purpose is not to close itself, but to open to what is there, as it is.
I take my attention to the breath. I feel the air coming from the nostrils; I imagine getting to every cell of my body, feeding it to life. The air comes out, the body relaxes. The breath is already over, but here comes another. That’s how things go: everything has a beginning and an end. Even the pain. I found out that even that, sooner or later, is going to disappear.
In the past months, I spent a lot of time watching. And I found out that that sadness, that distaste that swept every moment of my day was nothing but an artifact. Although the pain was more than real. But I was to keep it alive. Because I was not enough, because I did not get anything from life, because it was not right for the others to be happy and I did not. At least so I thought.
I’ve found sadness there, and that’s right there. Because in life there are many things that can make you unhappy. But letting go of the pain, giving up on the party they take, they only serve that sadness. It seemed to me that there was no hope for me, neither today nor tomorrow, but it was the shadow of myself to talk, the long shadow of my depression.
Then one day I decided to take a small step. And then I did another. And since then I’ve been on the road. Every now and then I stopped, hesitating, but even those moments served me to better understand my illness.
From time to time, I remember some of the sentences that hammered me in my head, even though at that time I could not even see them. Even today, in peace and in silence, as I sit together with me, every now and then they reappear. “You are stupid. You were nothing. No one can love you. What fields do?”
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