I stare at Paula. Paula stares at me. To the casual observer it might look like we’re checking each other out, but since Paula is a fifty-something psychiatrist (not my type) I’m pretty sure she’s just waiting for my reaction. This is because I haven’t said anything for a solid 47 seconds- a record feat, since I usually don’t shut up.
“So you’re saying that when I’m sad… I hallucinate.”
I look at the fire-breathing unicorn sitting next to me. “Is this true?”
The unicorn shrugs.
“It’s called depression-induced psychosis. It means you blah blah blah blah blah.” Paula says blah blah blah a lot.
My depression is fancier than your depression. Instead of being normal sad, I’m crazy sad. I’m not delusional- I can tell what’s real- but I become terrified of monsters I know aren’t there.
I hate people who talk about their depression. Like, oh my god, get over yourself. At the same time, mental health is an epidemic that needs to be addressed, etc, but if you’re the kind of person who’s still reading this post then you probably know that already. Then again, you’re also probably the kind of person who thinks I shouldn’t tell people with depression to “get over themself”. This is a fair point and I don’t really have a good response. To be completely honest, I’m terrified of posting this because I don’t want anyone to think I’m seeking attention. Which I’m not, because I’m putting this on a blog, and no one reads blogs anymore.
I once had an ex girlfriend threaten to kill herself if we took a break. So I dumped her. This is one of those things that was logically healthy for both of us, but kind of disgusting for me to do, like eating eggplant. To be fair, I knew she wouldn’t actually commit suicide; dying takes courage and she had none. (Saying things like “dying takes courage” is another one of those disgusting things, and according to my therapist, it’s not even healthy. So like nutter butters instead of eggplant.)
After I was diagnosed with depression, the satirical and bitchy LGBTQ novelist who runs my life, Janine, and I had a firm discussion about stereotypes and how I don’t want to be one. This mostly consisted of me flipping off the sky and getting a lot of weird looks from the other students in my History class. Like most conversations I have with authority figures, it ended with me being bludgeoned on the head with a mace. Or at least, the metaphorical equivalent.
I wrote a poem about psychosis. It’s not funny, but it’s important to me, so if you read it I’ll give you a meme at the end.
Good morning, Love!
Welcome to my world!
I’ll take you in and out and home and down;
you can watch my head spin round.
They’re laying brand new concrete on my lawn.
Well, Love, come- the morning’s bright and flashing gone.
Afternoon, my Love!
Put those poppies in a vase!
The day is feverish and pliant colors gleam,
so we’ll rip spiders at the freaking seam
and scatter their dark legs in wet cement.
Can you hear the grass, my Love? I hear it and lament.
Good evening, Love!
Are you afraid of sunsets too?
The twilight is serene, and so we’ll walk
and maybe sketch our limbs in sidewalk chalk.
Ooooo! My feet are squelching- now they’re stuck-
Come here, my Love, and help me up?
Good night love.
The moon is too dark to ascend.
Concrete hardens at my ankles, as I sort of knew it would.
I can’t reach out to touch you- I’m not sure that I should.
Stars stretch out to fade in the darkness and the din;
I can open up my nostrils now, and breathe the cement in.
Good morning once again.
Do you like the cobwebbed ceilings of my brain?
The grass grows glinting and is trampled in an infinite refrain.
You hate the concrete pouring? Well, I smell it every day.
The sunlight hardens quickly now. Don’t look back, Love- run away.