I feel like a doll. A doll with glass eyes. A doll made of a porcelain head, arms, and legs. Fragile, hollow, empty, lifeless. I look out on the world and see nothing. My eyes have lost their sparkle. I feel nothing. I see nothing. I am a porcelain doll.
I am depressed. I didn’t realize it at first because it snuck in without knocking. But now I see it. This is *one of the ways I feel when I’m depressed.
There are some good friends here at school who would (and do) support me. But most of the time I do not even know how to ask for the help I need, or even what to ask for. I grew up in a narcissistic family, and as a result, I struggle to care for myself or recognize my own healthy needs and wants. I am very good at helping those around me and caring for others, but self-care is a whole other world.
I want to get help. I want to heal my wounds and be able to care for myself when I’m depressed. I’m grieving the loss of my childhood. I’m crying for my younger self who should have been nurtured and taught how to care for herself, but wasn’t. But mostly, I am just laying on my bed feeling emotionless – staring at a computer screen covered in mindless games and TV shows. Because I don’t feel anything on days like this. Some days, getting out of bed and eating meals is all I can manage.
Giving myself (and others) grace is another gift I wish I had been given earlier in life. And love. Accepting love is really really hard for me. My family fucked me over (excuse the language). And they did it without even realizing it, and with the best intentions and all the love they knew how to give. But it still messed me up. Even with good intentions, they still hurt me deeply.
This is a tiny piece of the iceberg of issues I am trying to work through in my personal life right now. It’s been rough. It’s even harder while being depressed. But it’s worth it. Someday I will no longer be a porcelain doll. I will be a warrior queen who is able to care not only herself, but also able to care for, stands up for and protect others.
After thought: There was a moment today when I was able to feel something. As I stepped out of the elevator onto my dorm floor, I was immediately hit by the strong smell of chai. It smelled wonderful and made me feel happy and energized for a few minutes. It was marvelous.
* Depression looks and acts differently on different days, with different medications, and for different people. This description is not meant to in any way envelope the entire spectrum of depression. My own depression doesn’t always manifest itself this way either.