Some days, I’ll be up. I’ll talk, & laugh, & joke around with others. I’ll be goofy and sarcastic and the life of the party.
Some days, I’ll be normal.
Or as close to it as I ever come.
Other days, I’ll be quiet.
I won’t talk much to anyone, if at all. I’ll keep my head down as I pass you in the hall, and have a “thousand mile stare” on my face whenever you see me look up. I’ll avoid eye contact as much as possible.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul.
It’s not you- it’s me.
Inside my head, there’s almost always a whirlwind of activity going on. About the only time this stops is when I’m deep in sleep… Or when I’m concentrating hard on a project.
Days when I’m “on”, that whirlwind is tossing me one-liners and jokes at rapid-fire pace, and the world glitters and shines in my eyes like sunlight on water.
Days when I’m “off”, that whirlwind is howling and screaming in my ears, telling me I’m all wrong, not enough, too much, every negative thing I can imagine about myself and the world around me. It pins me flat to the ground – and I clutch at the grass beneath my fingers so I won’t be sucked up into that whirlwind and thrown miles from where I need to be, landing broken and bleeding.
It’s not you- it’s me
There are times when the anxiety and depression are so thick, I can practically reach out and swipe a fingerful from the air, much like stealing evil frosting off a cake. On those days, I retreat into myself. I don’t want to talk, don’t want to interact. My heart pounds behind my ribcage, my chest tight, restricting my lungs to shallow breaths. Shaking hands and clenched teeth, I perch on the edge all day long, waiting for that moment that will tip me over the edge into tears.
And then, the medication kicks in, finally loosening my chest, slowing my heart rate… And for a moment, the anxiety is quelled.
It’s not you- it’s me.
And on the good days, I greet the sun with open arms, eyes smiling, head tipped back, gulping deep breaths of oxygen into myself- knowing that tomorrow is a toss-up. That I never know what the sunrise will bring with it.
So, I grasp hold of those good days, shaking them for every drop of joy I can wring.
Because – honestly, it’s not you.
But it’s not all I am.