This smile on my mouth
It’s hiding the words that don’t come out
My friends would say that I’m blessed
They don’t know my head’s a mess
I’ve had Sara Ramirez’s version of The Story repeat for the last week or two. I’ve always been a fan of the original by Brandi Carlisle, but something in Sara’s version gets to me a little more. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the people in my life and how even though I haven’t found that someone, as the song is about being in love and find that person, I have people to tell my stories to while I search. More importantly I have people who listen.
I don’t have more people than I can count, but I have enough, and they are each dear to me for different reasons. A trifecta of going home (see pictures for some of what I encountered on my trip), The Story, and Gwyneth Lewis’ Sunbathing in the Rain: a cheerful book about depression*, gave me what I needed to see what I had, something I knew but hadn’t really internalized before I left for London. When your stuck in a bout of depression you’re outside yourself and you never come back quite the same. Which is probably good. There’s a reason you became depressed, something that needs fixing. When you’re down it’s hard to see the things you love and the thoughts you take for granted when you’re up. Like I have people, people that listen. It seems like such a little thing, but it’s not.
On good days those four lines of The Story immortalise my life. My life seems like something from a story to some and slowly, one day, I just might tell it to you. Part of me is waiting for that person to complete the circle before I begin, and the other part is screaming to tell it all now. Both arguments have merit, but back to this story at hand. As much as I’m a hopeless romantic hidden inside an adventurous exterior and I’m waiting for that day I get to meet that person I’m going to be with for a long while, I can wait. I think. As much as I have people, wonderful, wondrous people, and my smiles are never insincere, there is some much that I can’t find the words to say. The struggles and trials my life has presented me with have opened the door to so many opportunities. To look at me now those that don’t know the half of it envy and regard my life with a kind of wonder. Small town girl follows her dreams around the world. And when I find myself happy beyond belief and with someone. This life certainly looks blessed in hind sight.
That last bit: my head’s a mess, not too many people know. I’m trying it out, letting people know. But there are so many preconceptions and misconceptions when it comes to depression. That it’s laziness, that you can think your way out of it, that the depressed are victims. I’ll be the first to say, that what I suffer isn’t the worst of it. I’ve been able to wait my time and avoid, probably to my detriment, seeing a doctor, but I do suffer. Lately it’s been mornings that are hard. I spent most of my childhood believing that it was better to keep quiet and spare other people than to spare myself. I still do, it’s part of who I am, but I’m trying not to hide parts of me away out of shame anymore. I don’t let this disease define me, because I know even in the worst of it, that it isn’t me.
I’ve been writing this post for five days. Trying to find the words, trying to stand tall and honest, and battling a couple bad days when I got back to London. I know right now, finding the words to be honest with myself pulls me through, attacking and analysing the situation from new vantage points. I have so many stories that I want to tell you and new ones I can feel coming up. Because when I can feel my way through my thoughts clearly I can see this bright shining possibility swarming around me. There’s so much I’ve learned because of and in spite of what I’ve gone through. All these stories. All this potential bound up in someone so small, the ability to connect and pull lessons from one day into the problems of another.
Here’s to breaking the rules.
*Sunbathing in the Rain was suggested to me by Sian, my tutor at Goldsmiths, and I can’t thank her enough.