It’s late at night.
Or, perhaps, it’s very early in the morning.
It’s dark outside.
It’s dark inside.
I am sitting on my back porch, listening to the raindrops around me. They’re not merely raindrops; they are like the ones which make huge flat orbs on a windshield while driving through a late night storm — the ones that hit with an accentuated “thud.” I hear them hit the porch roof above me. I hear them plop into my backyard pond. I hear them falling.
I am absolutely crushed under the weight of my own depression, blinded by the memories of the past; like a black hood over my head and face — identical to the ones they place on the heads of men in the electric chair, waiting to die for their sins.
I can only feel alone in my pain. No one else knows what this feels like. No one else knows the pain I relive more often than I let on. No one else knows how, when I think about it, I can still feel the eerie horrid discomfort in certain parts of my own body — like it happened yesterday, not 20 years ago.
And there is no one to whom I can describe it who will genuinely empathize; I only have people who offer sympathy. I appreciate the sympathy, but I don’t really want sympathy.
Then again, I guess I don’t want empathy either.
I guess, I just want to feel normal again. I want to feel normal — like I felt in the spring of 1998. I want to feel like everything is okay — like it did before June 9, 1998.
Or, perhaps, maybe I just don’t want to be me.
I don’t take antidepressants anymore. I don’t like the way they make me feel. They make my soul numb. They take away my genuine emotion, which (as I see it) makes me a great writer. Being a great writer is one of the few things in which I take solace. So I must do everything I can do in order to maintain my writing talent.
It’s the one thing at which I am truly great — writing.
[My best friend read an early draft of this blog tonight, and could only reply, “That’s powerful!”]
But now, no one is awake at this hour.
Or, at least, they aren’t answering text messages.
So I guess it’s just me.
Every day is a struggle to smile. But I do. I smile. I make jokes and I act happy. That’s my job. But no one knows who I am in my mind — and only a few people care. So if you know me, and you see me laugh and smile, you should probably know that I’m only doing it because it is socially required. Then again, only my true friends will read this, so I suppose they’ll know. But regardless, every smile is a struggle — a battle — to appear “normal.” Every struggle is a battle; every battle has a winner and a loser — and I am not through fighting the battle. I have not given up yet.
I refuse to give up.
One of these days, I will feel normal again.
One of these days…