This is a work of fiction but remains true for those who see themselves between the black and white spaces. For those individuals, may light be your guide.
Someone once told her that she liked “it.” Reveled in it even. It was easier than the alternative. With it, she didn’t have to try. She only went through the motions and at the first sign of failure, she never had to cross the street to disappointment. She’d continue on because that’s life. It was a courtship that worked for both her and it.
Until “it” kept her up at night. And refused her from trusting others. It wanted her all to itself. Her friends weren’t so sure a love affair like theirs should last.
They made her and it go to counseling. But it tried to stop her. Said no one could help her. “Who could understand you like I do?” She didn’t have an answer.
She went anyway. A few times. Her counselor wanted to discuss “it.” She wasn’t sure what talking could solve.
Still, she told her that “it” courted many a member of her family. There was her aunt before her. It nursed her aunt’s broken heart after another woman made claim to her aunt’s husband. Her aunt chalked it up to the women in America being easy. She couldn’t help but wonder when was anything in life ever easy?
Her counselor asked her when she first met “it?” She thought. Then remembered. The first time she met it, she was three years old. It reared its head at her mother’s bedside. Her mother spent the majority of her time with it, either sleeping or crying. She learned to sneak in moments with her mother when she could. Over the years there were too many moments spent together before it claimed her heart too.
Her counselor wrote a few things down on her pad. She nodded a few times. She looked up. It was time to end her time with “it.” It had a name and it wasn’t Mr. Right.
“Depression.” She said the name to herself a few times but it still felt stale on her tongue. She’d known “it” almost all her life. She watched it romance the women in her family. Then it asked for her hand…and heart and mind and soul, but her female relatives didn’t mind. It wasn’t one woman type of deal. So she let herself be courted by the devil she knew rather than the devil she didn’t.
Yet, had she really known it? “It” had lied to them all. It wasn’t sadness, or fatigue, or low self-esteem. She told her family it’s real name. It was…
“Depress-” she began. “No.” She was interrupted. “Do not claim it. You can fight this. You can leave it behind. But if you claim its hold on your life, it has already won. I know it’s hard. But God wouldn’t give you more than you can handle” her grandmother replied. Maybe God thought too much of three year old little girls.
“You don’t need medication. You need to pray. Read your bible. And trust in the lord,” her grandmother continued to preach.
Her and depression’s song tuned the sermon out. The melodic “Has God heard you before, when you lay awake crying?” entered her ears before crescendoing on. “Did your mother? Did your grandmother? It was me who laid awake with you. Medication will only make you a zombie. You won’t be able to feel me but you won’t be able to feel at all.” The song reached el fin as her grandmother’s sermon left the pulpit.
They were all in agreement. No medication. But prayer hadn’t yet worked. Until then, depression paid rent in their new residence. For now she waits for her moment to leave while uttering the old adage with a twist: “it’s not me, it’s you.”