Her eyes open slowly. For just a moment she curses the daylight. Why did she wake up? Why couldn’t she sleep forever – the dreams are often kind and welcoming, much more so than her reality.
She takes a jagged breath. The air slips reluctantly between her lips. The reluctance is not on the part of the body, but of the soul. There are times when even breathing is painful.
She looks in the mirror at the lines on her face and wonders how they got there. She doesn’t believe they were there yesterday. She recalls a song lyric that mentions the lines getting clearer – she understands the lyricist.
Slowly, she drags herself to the kitchen and pours a cup of tea. The steam clouds her vision for a moment and she begins to wonder whether she’s awake or merely dreaming. There are times when the line between the two becomes blurred. This is such a time.
She never knows what will cause these dark moods to settle over her, she has a hard time noticing the change as it occurs. It’s almost as if she lives two lives – one in the sunshine and the other in the darkness.
This beast has visited her before, it has many names: Melancholia, The Blues, Heavy Heartedness – but she knows it by its clinical name – Depression. It’s no stranger to her – she’s wrestled with it for as long as she can remember. For a while she thought she had seen the last of it; alas, she was faulty in her thinking.
As it walks by her side she must do a great deal of pretending. She must smile and laugh and carry on conversations as if everything were normal. It is not. She must answer the tiresome question of “What’s wrong?” with the same old answer, “Nothing. I’m fine.” She is not.
Some days she is so disheartened with her actions and words. There are times when she growls and snaps at those who love her most because the pain is so intense. She cannot seem to help herself. She is like an animal with it’s limb caught in a trap. All she desires is to be free of it, no matter the cost.
Hamlet. Act 3, Scene 1, Line 56. “To be, or not to be…” A familiar line which bounces around her brain at times like these. This day she has decided ‘to be’. This day her companion loses. Life wins. This day.
She slowly sips her tea and closes her eyes. Tomorrow will be better.