I hesitate to show this work in progress, but I did warn you would see works in progress that aren’t perfect. This is a small piece with an unknown future.
I dealt with a lot of unexpected emotions after the birth of my child. The great thing about being a writer is allowing my experiences to shape the things I write. Also, the Catharsis.
How often do we read dark pieces about a shattered reality and feel a connection? An echo of the demons you fight personally? These pieces may be difficult for the author to write (as this was for me) and even more so to actually allow others to read. I am at the point now where I don’t mind sharing, and in fact welcome responses. I wonder how something so raw will resonate with the reader, or perhaps even turn them against me.
Depression, Anxiety, and Anger rose up like gargantuan leviathans from the deepest, darkest reaches of my soul. They swam around me, through me; hung in the air to skew my sight and block the sun.
In the night, Anxiety would whisper, “she is dead” and laugh as I awoke drenched in sweat and terror. My dreams would blur to nightmares. Each morning I felt them, all heavy on my chest as I tried to rise from bed. Exhausted. Weak.
Depression cloaked herself on my shoulders as I picked up my daughter to feed her. I looked into my daughter’s eyes and Depression murmured, “You’re not good enough.” I mumbled into the silence, “Everyone else is happy with their baby. Why can’t I be?” Depression never answered. My eyes, too weary to cry; my body, too sore to move; my mind, too numb to fight.
Anxiety assured me no one wanted to watch a newborn so I could sleep. Depression convinced me no one cared. Anger allowed me to yell and scream and punch the bed.
Anger roared hurtful words to my daughter and husband. To create a mighty whirlpool, I fed my power on innocent flotsam circulating in my terror. I broke and smashed and roared. Until at last, all energy spent, I sunk lower and farther into the depths.
Where Depression silently awaited me.
An old friend. No longer bothering to break the surface for fresh air and sunlight. No longer moved by the torrent above. Just waiting for nature to drag the debris down, down, down.
Guilt. Guilt swam about as I beheld my giant companion. Guilt’s words sharp as the vibrant coral I destroyed. “There are women who can’t have children. You do not deserve this opportunity.” “You have no right to lash out on such innocent people.” “She will grow to fear you.”
I don’t mind the pain. I want more. I wish to grab the tiny creatures and crush them in my hands. I want to see my blood pouring from a hundred slits. Choke on the pain as the salt of the water invades my wounds.
Anger now lurks in the shadowy fathoms; watching, waiting. My voice is hoarse as I implore, “Can I tame you?” A wild and unnatural laugh rings in my mind.
Depression moves to put a giant fin on my shoulder. I am comforted at first, but she encircles my body, squeezing tighter and tighter. I ask, “Is this it?” She does not respond. I think it must be as I can no longer breathe.
I am surprised to find relief in the thought.
Something penetrates the murky depths. I open my eyes. A sound as crisp as bells. I stare up at the tiny lights breaking the surface so very far above. Depression looks up, too. Curious for a moment. Then she redoubles her efforts.
“No! What is that noise?” I twist. My limbs are bound tight against me. My breaths are ragged and painful. “No!” I repeat, “I want to hear it again!”
And there it was, filling my body with renewed energy.
I fight harder, I must find that sound. I thrash and struggle until a darkness overcomes me. I feel my body rising, floating; light and silent.
I am aware of coarse sand warm beneath me. Gentle waves lap at my feet. My lungs ache as I struggle to fill them. It hurts to swallow. I cannot move for the pain in my muscles. I open my eyes and blink at the harsh sunlight.
I hear the sound again. Just before me. My eyes burn as I try to see through a haze I cannot clear from them. There. I can barely discern two figures dancing about. A small child clinging joyously to a man.
They are laughing.
I close my eyes and let the sound wash over me.