Everyone always asks me how I feel, and I always tell everyone I’m … “OK”. And for the first time, I’m not lying. I’m just scared. Scared to say the words outloud. “OK” may not sound like much, but when not waking up in the morning sounds like a better option than the pain of living another day – “OK” is a luxury.
Truth is, I’m OK. A normal person would feel relieved, but not me. I feel anxious, constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop and looking over my shoulder for life to pull the rug out from under me. This can’t be it, this can’t be all. It has to get worse before it gets better right? I act as if I didn’t already spend a month roaming our apartment like a ghost. Numb, floating, going through the motions with no feeling and no purpose. I used to wonder what was worse: slowly dying or an abrupt demise. I know the answer now.
I don’t want to be OK , because that means the worst hasn’t happened yet. I’ve been here before, but this is all unfamiliar. Why am I waking up early in the morning? Why am I taking care of myself? Why do I still have so much love in my heart and joy in my soul? It can’t be because I’m stronger. It can’t be because I’m better. I should be hurting more. The amount of hurt I feel should be equivalent to the amount of love I have for him, and I love him with every bone, every scar, every hair, and every breath in my body.
Then she said, “But Abi, your depression doesn’t define you”.
How sway? When it’s all I’ve known for so long. When depression never really goes away. When I can still hear its deafening whispers in the wind. When it tries to sneak in a dance with me at night.
But she was right – my depression doesn’t define me. It is an integral part of what’s made me the person I am today, and a huge reason why I am so grateful for life. I hold onto the lessons depression has taught me, and get strength from knowing I survived it all. But my depression does not define me. I am LOVE. I am JOY. I am PURPOSE. I am STRENGTH. I am INSPIRATION. I am bigger, and I am better, and I am more than it will ever be.
I am also a liar, because sometimes I’m not just OK. Right now I actually feel hopeful.