I’m at the public library in T.’s hometown. It’s near the pier and the water, which is definitely the town’s best angle. There are long windows in the library and I can see a huge stretch of sky, blue but thickly clouded, oppressive angry clouds. There’s a weeping willow outside the window closest to me.
I’m definitely beginning to experience that phenomenon they describe in self-help books of being able to run away but not being able to “escape from yourself”. As much as I hate that phrasing and all similar clichés of the self-help industry (being your “best self” for instance, or “finding” yourself as though you are a lost child in a grocery store), I’ve been a whining, cringing, hand-wringing, inactive, indecisive, uncertain mess for the past week and even here, with the boats (white, shiny boats, rich people boats) and the distant shoreline and the books and the quiet voices (the quality of the light, too, is beautiful, despite the humidity) I feel terrified, anxious, tremulous. I feel ugly (more than ugly, so thoroughly plain, nothing there, nothing to see). There aren’t enough words in the English language to describe complex and antagonistic emotions, because “sad” and “depressed” won’t do it. The depression feels like someone is trying to perform dangerous surgery on my body without my permission. Or rather, it feels like they did perform it, and it went very badly (so much internal bleeding, and I think they left a watch or a wedding ring in my brain before they stitched me up). Inside my head, I hear a small, sharp scream like the shriek of a microphone’s feedback and it won’t let up or lessen. I don’t want to write about this on Facebook because describing mental illness can sound so much like complaining, and the inability to communicate this rampage of feeling and thought makes me ashamed.