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  • Explaining my depression to my mother

  • (a conversation)

  • Mom, my depression is a shape shifter.

  • One day it is as small as a firefly in the palm of a bear,

  • the next it’s the bear.

  • On those days I play dead until the bear leaves me alone.

  • I call the bad days the dark days.

  • Mom says: try lighting candles.

  • When I see a candle, I see the flash of a church.

  • The flicker of a flame sparks of a memory younger than noon;

  • I am standing beside her open casket, it is the moment I learn:

  • every person I ever come to know will someday die.

  • Besides, mom, I’m not afraid of the dark, perhaps that’s part of the problem.

  • Mom says: I thought the problem was that you can’t get out of bed.

  • I can’t.

  • Anxiety holds me a hostage inside of my house, inside of my head.

  • Mom says: where did anxiety come from?

  • Anxiety is the cousin visiting from out of town depression felt obligated to bring to the party.

  • Mom, I am the party.

  • Only I am a party I don’t want to be at.

  • Mom says: why don’t you try going to actual parties. See your friends.

  • Sure, I make plans.

  • I make plans, but I don’t wanna go.

  • I make plans because I know I should want to go.

  • I know sometimes I would have wanted to go.

  • It’s just not that much fun having fun when you don’t wanna have fun, mom.

  • You see, mom, each night, insomnia sweeps me up in its arms,

  • dips me in the kitchen in the small glow of the stove light.

  • Insomnia has this romantic way of making the moon feel like perfect company.

  • Mom says: try counting sheep.

  • But my mind can only count reasons to stay awake, so I go for walks,

  • but my stuttering kneecaps clank like silver spoons held in strong arms with loose wrists,

  • they ring in my ears like clumsy church bells, reminding me

  • I am sleepwalking on an ocean of happiness I cannot baptize myself in.

  • Mom says: happy is a decision.

  • But my happy is as hollow as a pin-pricked egg.

  • My happy is a high fever that will break.

  • Mom says I am so good at making something out of nothing,

  • and then flat out asks me if I am afraid of dying.

  • No, I am afraid of living.

  • Mom, I am lonely.

  • I think I learnt it when dad left,

  • how to turn the anger into lonely, the lonely into busy.

  • So when I tell you I’ve been super busy lately,

  • I mean I’ve been falling asleep watching sports centre on the couch

  • to avoid confronting the empty side of my bed,

  • but my depression always drags me back to my bed,

  • until my bones are the forgotten fossils of a skeleton sunken city,

  • my mouth a bone yard of teeth broken from biting down on themselves.

  • The hollow auditorium of my chest swoons with echoes of a heartbeat,

  • but I am a careless tourist here.

  • I will never truly know everywhere I have been.

  • Mom still doesn’t understand.

  • Mom, can’t you see?

  • That neither can I.

Explaining my depression to my mother


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サブリナ・ベナイム - "私のうつ病を母に説明する" (Sabrina Benaim - "Explaining My Depression to My Mother")

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    Joyce Lee に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日