Loneliness

by Rie

I always thought I’d be okay as a loner. I am, largely, okay.

Remember when I said that this may be the year I cope with being myself? Yeah. Not quite there yet. But I’m here to remind myself that that’s not such a bad thing.

I haven’t read many other people’s thoughts on depression. I’ve read essays written by depressed people but too, too few. Maybe it’s because they’re a giant warm hug of “it’s okay” and I’m not in a place to believe them.

It just struck me today how lonely being depressed is. I’m scared that I burn even more bridges. I feel like I’m on fire in a dark, dark room. You can’t see the fire, you don’t believe me, but I burn all the same.

On the flip side, you know I’m on fire. You have the empathy to recognise how weird it feels to be deep and vast and empty. What do you do? According to “Are you okay?” day, once I spill all my emotions on the floor, you can tell me I’m okay. That it’s normal. You normalise the experience for me, in a way. Pat my head. Pat my shoulder.

I smile. Because it’s less lonely. (Not every other depressed person would, I imagine.)

What do you do when you see me burning again?

Rinse and repeat? Hug me this time? Tell me you’ll always be there?

And again?

Throw water and my face and hope that puts it out.

I say this in jest because I’ve just sent (maybe) 20 messages to a close friend. I spewed. I sputtered. I broke.

I told some of my family.

“I’m on fire.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know.”

And, then, silence.

You don’t need to tell me how weird it is to be alive. I know. I know all too well.

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