I (Don’t) See the Light

“What’s the matter, you don’t have enough rain to make up a storm? Whatcha look so sad for? Where’s that light I used to know?” (Song: Slip; Artist: Elliot Moss)

I didn’t know how to start this post because my feelings are everywhere right now. Or maybe they’re just in one place, but I can’t pinpoint where that is. Either way, I was listening to calming, sad songs, as I do when I’m feeling this way, and these lyrics spoke to me. I don’t have the mental capacity to formulate my indeterminate feelings into deep metaphors and flashy poetry right now; I want to write my thoughts as they come to me: literal, real, vulnerable, immediate, unfiltered. That’s how I figure out my feelings best: just writing it out.

Elliot Moss must’ve crawled inside of my brain, stole my inner dialogue, and put it in a song (Elliot…can I call you that? If you’re reading this, I want compensation). Let’s break it down:

“What’s the matter, you don’t have enough rain to make up a storm?” This is putting into words a fear of mine. My life these past seven months or so have been the best of my life, and I’ve been terrified of that until recently. Two questions: 1. Why is an improved life terrifying? Well, I fear it regressing back to the life I was living. I was an acrobat, and I was emotionally abused daily by my coach and by myself. This caused me to develop anxiety, and almost everyday, I would uncontrollably sob. No, no little cry; I would be in the corner, hyperventilating. I hated my life, and I hated myself. I finally quit seven months ago, and that’s when my life started improving. When my happiness reached a certain level, I finally recognized it, and it was the oddest feeling to me. I hadn’t felt happiness more than in a fleeting moment for about two years, and all of a sudden, my baseline emotion was joy rather than depression. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t need to cry myself to sleep every night. I didn’t have to force myself out of bed. I didn’t have to struggle through the torturous day. And I was terrified. I had gotten so used to, and dare I say comfortable with, being depressed that I didn’t recognize myself when I wasn’t. I just knew it had to come back. I knew it was lurking around the corner, waiting for my guard to be down so it could hit me at full force. Any time I had a moment of anxiety, I panicked, believing fully that one little mishap would send me down a dark spiral headed straight back to where I was seven months ago. 2. Why am I not terrified of an improved life anymore? Honestly, it’s because it hasn’t been so great recently. I guess this is what I’ve been waiting for. Heartbreak, panic attacks, depression, lack of sleep, self-loathing – all these and more melded together to create a poison not quite lethal, but strong enough to make me feel like shit until it becomes lethal. So, the lyric – when I’m happy, I fear not being who I’ve pictured myself as: a depressed person with plenty of rain to make up a storm. When I’m depressed, I feel as though my problems are too weak to be classified as a fully-fledged storm.

“Whatcha look so sad for?” I’m terrible at hiding my emotions, so recently, I’m sure I’ve looked like a walking dark cloud from one of those anti-depressant commercials.

“Where’s that light I used to know?” I wish knew, Elliot. If anyone finds it, let me know. I can’t get out of bed, I ‘m obsessing over past mistakes, I’m panicking during workouts again, I’m unconfident in my looks but at the same time don’t care enough to wear more than a t-shirt and yoga pants, I’m bs-ing all of my schoolwork and couldn’t care less about my grades, I’m feeling extremely close to being peer pressured into doing things I don’t want to do, I’m paranoid that everyone around me hates me…so, that light. It’s been a bit diminished lately. God, and I just had it in my grasp.

I think, though, that the light has just barely moved out of my peripheral, because from time to time, it likes to play a little game of peek-a-boo, even in this downward slope on my progress timeline. I was afraid of my happiness being temporary, but now I know that pain is, too. Honestly, I had forgotten happiness existed, such as when a hospital-bound patient forgets the warmth of sunlight kissing their skin. Now that I have been reminded, I want to experience it again, even if I have to battle the fears my depression and anxiety create to hinder me from finding a new comfort zone rooted in joy.

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