To the lucky ones, the ones who don’t have to fight the unseen battles of depression or bipolar, but you’re trying to understand it all anyway, thank you. You’re awesome.
You’re starting to get that it’s not about you, that we can’t just ‘snap out of it’, and that the journey is different for everyone. You’re even starting to celebrate the wins with us, you know, the small ones, like the days we can get out of bed.
You’re growing with us, and we love that. Because the good days feel like honey-soaked dreams that become so much more real when we can share them with those who love us no matter what.
And here’s the thing about those good days and bad days. They’re so utterly, utterly different. This might sound a bit weird to you, but depression isn’t just about what we’re feeling. Depression can gnaw away every sense. Like a fairy tale gone wrong, it’s the boy with the shard of ice in his eye, the ice that distorts everything.
On a good day, my fresh laundry smells like candy floss. On dark days it just smells dank.
On dark days my face in the mirror is distorted. Like it would be on a bad acid trip. My heart feels heavy. And dead inside of me. My imagination equally dead. My own voice hurts me, scratching up against my eardrums. My favourite fragrance smells wrong somehow and I feel alien in my own body. My skin feels weird on certain textures. Food is tasteless. And even time is different. Standing still but disappearing at the same time.
On good days everything feels right somehow. And better than. I feel like I might know what it is to be in love with life.
My heart feels like it’s bouncing up and down inside of me and it’s springtime inside my head, ideas tumbling and flourishing. I might suddenly notice that my skin is glowing, or how long my hair has grown. I might even think that I look a little younger than the day before. Sunlight sparkles. Colours have more depth.
I’ll be singing or humming without even noticing. Or laugh out loud at a thought in my head. My muscles feel stronger. I feel like dancing all the time. I feel connected, at home within myself. I feel like my happiness is bigger than me. And that love is everything.
On the good days there are flowers in my heart and birds in my soul.
So thank you for loving us in the dark days. It makes the good days so much sweeter.
And for me, these are the good days.
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