I am back at school and the spring semester has started! (A month ago, actually, whoops, sorry!) You know what that means? Loooots of school work, searching for research opportunities and internships, no more having to plan secret romantic rendezvouses, and…
The ominous lurking of depression.
I’m pretty easily affected by stressful things if I’m not careful. That’s one of the reasons why, after much deliberating, I chose to not study abroad in Japan. My Japanese is not nearly proficient enough to survive over there, and not understanding people + not being understood = oodles of stress and frustration. Not risking it, especially in a nation with among the highest suicide rates in the world.
So, as a reminder of how terrible it is to feel these bad feels, I have here a monologue about depression that I wrote for my theater class last year.
I remember writing parts of this while I was locked up in the psychiatric ward with nothing to do but reflect over my being.
I’ve been in such a great mood lately. Unexplainable… but great. Let’s not have this happen again.
I know a monster that bites. It mainly bites, but it also gnaws, chomps, beats with its tail until its poor victim is bruised and bleeding and wishes for death. This monster, it’s quite adept at hiding, because it’s been here for so long and yet I never realized it. Since high school, was it? No—perhaps it existed even before then, driven here by the two girls who often phoned my house anonymously in the eighth grade, asked me if I ate ice cream with chopsticks.
This monster lives in me. It calls itself the Sadness. It is a vicious beast of the most bitter, icy blue hue, and it dwells within me in a place I cannot see, or reach, or find. Or maybe I do see it, have noticed it all along, but only turned my head the other way as if by doing so the monster will gradually ebb into nonexistence. I didn’t know that only gave it time to grow.
I thought the whispered voice was mine. I convinced myself it was so, because it HAD to be so, right? Who else could it be? Not this arctic monster that hisses sharp words into my frostbitten brain. The brain passes on these messages to my ears: It’s all you, all true. Don’t fight. Let no one tell you otherwise.
But the heart, it hasn’t completely frosted over yet. I can feel the warmth inside, right here, gently pulsing the life into me. Its voice is soft. It tells me to live. It wants me to believe what people tell me. “You’re pretty, smart, a great person. I love you. I want to see you again. There isn’t anything wrong with you.” The heart wants so desperately for me to believe.
But the brain won’t let that happen. The brain has the Sadness on its side.
The brain that is so much louder than the timid heart. That tells me none of these things can possibly be true, because I am worthless, useless, unwanted, a bother, an intrusion, extra, not enough… not enough. Never enough. Never will be enough.
“I love you. I wish I were more like you.” No, no, no, she doesn’t mean that. She can’t call me her best friend, not when I don’t deserve it. I only bother her. Please, save yourself from me and never see me again. It’s best this way.
“I want to see you again. Please let me see you again.” That can’t possibly be true. He doesn’t want this at all. He deserves someone more worthy, someone beautiful, confident, normal. Someone who doesn’t remind herself daily that she’s no better than the banana peel browning in the garbage.
I’m so tired. Will this war ever cease? The heart and the brain, perpetually in conflict. They wear me down and milk the teaspoons of energy out of me, leaving just enough to force the smiles, murmur the lies. “I’m fine. Don’t worry. Nothing’s wrong.” I doubt I even need energy to perform such tasks, automatic as they have become.
Perhaps, even in death, the muscle memory of my lips will continue to hold the smile, for decades and centuries to come, or at least until I rot to nothing.
I repeat this mantra to myself, to the few familiar faces at school, to the counselor, to the doctors—even as I climb into the ambulance that takes me to the emergency room.
“Nothing’s wrong,” I insist. They shake their heads and extend their hands.
“Everything is wrong. Please, let us help you.”
For the first time, I let them pull me up.
There was a monster inside me, and it told me horrible things. I believed everything it said until people explained that the Sadness is a liar. And when I discovered where exactly it lurked, I reached for my sword and began to fight.
There once was a monster inside me. It might still be here somewhere, wounded in combat, but I can no longer see it. It doesn’t speak.
Cliche ending, but I think I just wanted to finish the monologue and couldn’t think of anything else at the time.
Now I must do stats.
I am really poor at stats.
Until next time,
~ Mimi ;D