I’ve been Officially Sick for seven years now. Two years longer than the outside average life expectancy, and still doing really well, all things properly considered. Yet, for some reason, this year’s Saddiversary was really, really hard.
Like. Really fucking hard.
A solid week leading up to the actual date saw me in a total despondent state. True and proper depressive episode, sleeping and crying a lot, medicating the living shit out of myself, unable to find joy in anything, looking desperately to climb out and get just a little happy again. The tiniest bit. Anything. Please.
I imagined myself in a room. Depression Land. It’s very much like my actual room, only greatly exaggerated. The bed takes up most of it, and has shackles. I spend over 80 percent of my time in this bed. This last week I had to ask J to help me medicate the skin on my ass where it is threatening to become bedsores. Bedsores caused by sedentary lifestyle fed by depression and then feeding back into it. The bed is my world. There’s a bright spot here, a pulsing lifeline that is my laptop, my connection and my distraction and my salvation. It’s a dim light, during these episodes, the barest of dim glows, but it’s still there. There’s a bed caddy with the remote controls for my tv and my bed, my phone, and my drink. (Holy shit am I going to miss drinking soda. I will hold on to the ritual of my morning Monster energy drink for as long as I can. SODA IS AWESOME OKAY) In Depression Land, it tastes like nothing. There’s piles of blankets here but they don’t keep me warm. They entangle, instead, and stifle.
There’s a pile of luggage in the corner. It’s a matching set, poison green with little corona viruses all over them. They smell like dust and bitterness, and they represent all the things I missed out on because of the corona virus. One whole year of my extremely limited life, with my rapidly diminishing ability, gone to this fucking virus. There are twin suitcases here labeled “Portland Dining Month”. One nice sized one labeled ‘Saddiversary celebration in San Francisco with J’. One labeled ‘birthday 2020’. Six or seven labeled with various concerts and show names. There’s also a pile of cardboard boxes, hastily marked with Sharpie, “Help moving”. That one smells especially bitter.
The bitter aroma also extends to my wheelchair, relegated to a role as bathroom taxi and doctor appointment shuttle. In Depression Land, the SS Opportunity is covered in mildew and cobwebs. It never gets to go anywhere fun. She’s not my freedom, here; there’s nowhere to go. In Depression Land, this glorious machine is nothing but a tool, and a laborious one at that.
My closet, too, is mildewed. All my cute clothes relegated to the darkeness because WHAT EVEN IS THE POINT.
Books, turning to dust, snacks, tasting like ashes.
I fucking hate Depression Land.
The only good thing about it is, I know my stay is temporary. Even if it doesn’t feel like it. I’m usually able to remind myself of that, when I’m desperately scrolling through Amazon looking for some stupid little tchochke that will make me happy for five minutes or trawling the depths of TikTok to find something, ANYTHING..
Eventually, I remember.
Or in this case, eventually, the day comes and goes.