Slipping through four-wheeled strangers crawling in a sea of asphalt, my drive from the office is arduous. 

Hold on. Just one more block.

Turning left on my street, I unbuckle the seatbelt across my chest. I allow a sigh within the walls of my lungs; she clings tightly to the fear. It’s a welcome relief to get one out.

When I arrive home, the rubble of my life serves up equal parts comfort and disgust. Piles of dirty laundry cover the floor and stacks of papers blanket my coffee table. The kitchen countertops work as a nesting place for empty wine bottles, dirty dishes and unopened mail.

There’s a slight odor weaving its way up to my nostrils and I can’t tell if it’s coming from my skin, my scalp, or the basic parameter of the area. Ashamed, I don’t have the strength (or desire) to investigate further. I undress and climb in to my unmade bed.If I only knew what it was, what I could do. If I only took a shower, did laundry, washed the dishes, went for a walk or had a piece of chicken (that last one’s from mom). If only.

Through the darkness of my room, outside my bedroom window I see sunlight playing hide and seek with the leaves of a palm in the breeze. Children playing on the street compete with the crashing waves echoing in the distance. 

That is what life feels like.

I don’t have the energy to cry. The guilt of feeling depressed is depressing. I want to evaporate.

~ ~ ~

“So tell me.” Her voice was soft. “Why are you calling?”

“I’ve never been suicidal, but I am having fantasies of not wanting to live.”

I met Mary the next afternoon and gave her a hug as soon as she opened the door. She sat and listened to my story without judgment or pity.

In less than an hour I bullet pointed my life. Raped at age thirteen, drugs by fourteen, a skin deformity by fifteen, promiscuity to feel beautiful, left home at seventeen and on and on. Absentee father, abusive step-father, a mother who drank. The perfect sister everyone loved. And then there was me. The Stripper. The Fuck Up.

So stripping was my thing. I drank. I snorted. I pill-popped. I bent over and counted my money one dollar at a time. I worked the pole, slept around and pushed the envelope of reason. I rock-starred in my own one-woman show. And now, the music is over. The crowd is long gone and I am still here.

“I’m trapped in darkness and so much of what I see is light. How do I get there?” This time the tears managed to come.

“You will find your way. And I am going to help you.”

And so it begins.

14 comments

  1. Powerful words and sharing. Though my path is different, I do understand what it is to be in a place, at a place where anguish can be too much and you start thinking of alternatives.Peace and strength to you.

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  2. Not that I am picking… but I don't know how Dragan Mike could understand… I don't know how anyone could understand. Just because you can recognize words and sense a familiarity with what they evoke, you can't understand.But if you can understand yourself and recognize how these emotions can coalesce and form around a person, then I do think you can offer support and try to be there as someone struggles to push on.I have 'been there' but my 'been there' is unique to me and don't involve much of, if any, of these things. But you are beautiful and stronger for the journey.

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  3. This went deep inside of me and woke something up… I don't know what it is, but it has brought me back several times since I have read it… I guess I will have to work it out on my own, but I did want you to know how this post got to me…

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    1. Thank you so much. When I read it now – it still takes me back there to those dark places. Even on the outside looking in now, it’s a place so raw and real, and my heart goes to anyone suffering from depression.

      I’m so grateful I made that phone call and sought help. x

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  4. As a writer of a memoir/biography blog centered on recovery from addiction, rape at age 12 and Depression….I have always found it incredibly difficult to describe how Depression feels, or complete loneliness or self hatred feels.

    My palms began to sweat when I ran your account at the beginning of your post and I desperately wanted a cigarette, BAD….only strange thing is i haven’t smoked for 14 YEARS!. You nailed it.

    I often sense when reading your posts that you are taking me to a really dangerous place emotionally because of how much I can identify and relate to it. the specifics of what we did and where are different but the emotions in so many ways are exactly the same…really heavy stuff!

    Some people will say why in the hell do you want to go back there but what they don’t understand is that for some people, like myself…a HUGE part of ME NEVER left there. It is through contacts and relationships , even a blog relationship that many of us find the way home.

    Your raw, open honesty about such things and your incredibly gifted ability to put it into words are why you will always find me here reading your blog.

    Peace as always….T…………………….

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  5. Christine, that was so beautiful and so difficult for me to read. Your writing of depression was all to relatable and captured how I struggled. Thankfully, somewhere along that highway someone found me and meds changed my life. Along with being clean n sober first, I’m OK! I really love your brilliant writing! P

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