It sneaked back in today, tickled my neck and when I went to itch the little bugger, the feeling clipped my fingers like a pair of shears: depression.
One of my all time favorite things to do is watch depression commercials and yell "Bull shit!" at the screen. Not really, considering Ava's going through a hardcore mimic phase and I don't need her to practice her skills in the middle of Target but I think it, often. I never remember staring into space like that one lady on the screen does, trying to assess if my bedroom wall color is Eggshell or Cream. I do, however, remember crying until my everything hurt, eating nothing but pretzels and mustard with a side of frozen grapes and pinching at my thighs because they were fat, I was fat. I thought nobody understood the way my brain hurt or the voice that knew me better than anyone and always spoke the truth: you are nobody, you are stupid, it will all be okay if you just stop breathing.
I need to talk about this because I have a problem with doing just that, talking.
I doubt people I know ever think I'm depressed besides my immediate family. Most people would say I'm either quiet, incredibly outgoing, or way off my rocker. And every single one of them would be correct. I think it's part of the depression, this uneasiness I sometimes have in my own skin, the not being completely defined to the point that someone could say "Oh Ericka? Oh yeah, she's that chick that speaks Japanese and can tell time with her boobs" (and I'm betting a jorts worth of cash that nobody would ever say that). I have to say though, in terms of my overall depression, I've been doing exceptionally well since giving birth to Ava. I know a lot of women are introduced to depression right after they have a child and my heart breaks for them knowing what they're in for and having to do deal with the hurt while changing diapers and wiping drool and looking in the mirror to a meet a woman who wouldn't know a fraternity party if it smacked her in the face. I think in some ways I was given a gift, having dealt with depression for eight years before getting pregnant. I knew the signs, I knew what to look out for and I also knew to talk to my doctor about it and ask for a pregnancy safe option as far as treatment. But even though I took the precautions and even though I'm doing better than ever, I still have my days. This is one of them.
There is one commercial though that hurts to watch. It's the one with the dog, his head slumped against the carpet, a living, breathing sounding board for his master's internal struggle. It makes me think how this shit's contagious and I pray with fibers I didn't even know I had that Ava never learns what it feels like for your breath to suffocate you, for your body, your brain to hold you captive.
But, hey, there's always tomorrow right?
Ericka Clay, Writer
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