The first thing I see when I open my eyes is the silver zinc roof of my rather small room. It is shiny and sweaty. There are droplets of water marching across its lines to be vomited down at the end to a bucket I keep there for rainy days. I stare at it for a while, trying to convince my defiant body that it is indeed the morning and I must get up at some point. This time I lose the argument.
I shape my pillow into a knot with two grumpy fists to get more comfortable.
I can already hear the soundtrack of life playing outside; a baby speaking their alien language to some adult, I assume, who seems to be completely deaf to the screaming of this child, and of course the birds chirping a monotonous jolly tune which I imagine is the Animal Kingdom’s version of a happy song. I want the birds to shut their beaks. Or alternatively, sing something that is a little more reflective of the real state of life. It is not a good morning, and It hasn’t been a good morning for months now. Mornings are emptiness, they are feelings of uselessness. Mornings are wrestling with the Universe for hours, fighting your own mind and summoning all the little strength you have to get out of bed and not die that day. Mornings, for me anyways, are ” You can end it all now. You don’t have to do this again today the whole day. You won’t make it.” I turn to lie on my left side, I have no more energy left to fist the pillow into a knot again.
Suddenly I remember the man from the television show I watched last night. He was wearing a purple 3-piece suit that seemed tailor-made for a man his size, I remember because I had found it peculiar and impressive that a fellow that big could run around the stage like that. The man was preaching about the power of prayer. He said that if you pray every night before you sleep, God will clear your mind and chase away the dark energy around you, therefore allowing you to wake up refreshed and happy.
So I prayed.
I prayed last night like I did the night before, like I did last week, like I have done every night for the past year, but I still wake up every morning with butterflies in my stomach. Not the bright, lively ones you get when you are excited about a new project or when you fall in love, no. The dark butterflies. The ones that breathe anxiety onto your stomach and interrogate you like relentless officers, asking you why you are so undeserving of love…why you always manage to destroy every authentic relationship you build…why you seem to not succeed at anything you attempt to do. They keep asking, mocking, teasing and replaying your not-very-good past moments in your head until you become so tired that you give in to them and let them arrest you. Because, you see, the officers of self-doubt and self-loathe never arrest you against your own will. You give yourself to them willingly. You have to be the one who extends your hands in surrender and give them the power to hold you prisoner.
My throat has an aching, dry lump now. My cheeks feel wet and my eyes keep blinking involuntarily. A part of me knows this was a bad idea, I should have just gotten out of bed as soon as I woke up. I should not have convinced myself that I would be okay if I pretended I was. But the truth is, when you are engaged in the battle of your life against your own self, you sometimes find yourself lost in the darkest places of your own mind, and when you are in that forest you don’t immediately realize that you are actually lost. Not consciously anyway. It is easy to reason with yourself and convince your consciousness that you are just off your usual path by a few calculations, that you will get back on the wagon in no time. You keep saying this to yourself until you wander off so far from your path that you stop recognizing the person on the mirror: You are completely detached from your dreams, your hopes, and the things that used to make you smile and burn with passion. What remains is merely an optical illusion of the person you used to be, and at this point, any hope of help seems far away. Too far away for your exhausted arms to try and reach.
I finally muster enough energy to get out of my bed and head to the kitchen for some food. Depression also grabs a plate. I will be having cereal for my breakfast, and Depression will be having me for his.