I painted my nails last night. A friend of mine, like all well-meaning friends, had suggested that if I paint my nails, every time I see them I will feel better.
This morning, I woke up clutching the bedside table, arms tensed, holding on so hard that the tips of my fingers were turning purple. When I saw my red nails, I thought to myself “See? Feel better. You painted your nails. Feel better.”
I didn’t feel better, though it has nothing to do with my nails. I know my friends and family care, and they will suggest whatever they can to see me out of this space. And I will try the things suggested. I don’t believe in hypnosis (it’s okay if you do), but I’m trying it. I don’t like taking medication, (and don’t need to hear your argument against it) but I am trying it. I know damn well that diet, exercise, and affirmations are important. And I’m trying them.
I have a decent mixture of tough love and gentleness around me. I have a therapist. I try to write every day. I logically understand the word “temporary” as it applies to my mind set.
It’s just that right now, most of the time I feel nothing at all. About 5% of the waking hours I feel deep, painful melancholy. The blues. Heartache and desperation. But that’s usually just before sleep and just after I wake. The rest of the time I feel nothing.
Some people have told me that it’s not possible to feel nothing. Others have suggested that it’s better than feeling sad. I assure you, this lack of feeling is very real, and it’s a profoundly dangerous place to spend too much time within, such detachment from oneself being the coldest and most naked form of depression.
I will paint my nails and do yoga and eat sprouts and say mantras. I will go to the ocean and try to recall how I usually feel. I am not suicidal, because I don’t even care enough or have the energy to be so. But I do know that I am alive, that I have a family to care for, and that one day, I will feel better than nothing.