“I’m going to go take a bath,” I say to my brother and I pick up my cell phone and shuffle out of the room. In my bedroom, Mom is sound asleep – snoring. I pull the door closed, place the lid on the toilet seat down, and plop onto the cold, white porcelain.
Last week, I hosted my brother in my apartment while The Mister was away. My brother is 3 years younger than I, but continue to be life-long best friends. When you live in a rural township with no neighborhoods or side-walks, you play with your brother and only your brother. We like the same kind of movies, music, and jokes. We share the same nose. And this week we shared the same home. It was comforting and it was downright fun! But on Saturday after wedding dress shopping and ice cream and a movie with my family, depression set in.
Depression doesn’t wait for you to be alone or for you to have anything to truly be sad about. It weakens your mind and opens the door to anxious thoughts and guilty pangs in your stomach. Your body feels heavy and your throat closes and you feel like you’re being suffocated by who knows what! Depression is icky and scary and it never plays by the rules. And that is why it struck me on Saturday night.
Alone in the bathroom, I twisted the faucet to start the hot water – it needed to be as hot as I could make it. With eyes glassed over, I dipped my feet into the water to feel the sting of the heat. Steam rose from my legs. I sat for a while alone in the water with my thoughts. But my mind was a trap and to be alone in it was a prison sentence. So I called The Mister. He knows depression. He knows what it does to families and to the people we love. He knows what it does to him and he knows what it does to me. Since the beginning we have connected over this ailment we both share. He has been such a constant comfort to me, he gives me a safe place to hide, to cry, to mourn, to breathe, and to process.
So Saturday night I cried for all of the heartbreak that I felt, without logical rhyme or reason. And he comforted me. He listened and he spoke to me of his capacity to love me. He shared in my sorrows and walked with me through my pain. And from the tub I was able to climb, drained and still heavy, but calm and collected – ready to return to my brother on the futon. In my biggest t-shirt and softest pants, I curled up beside my brother. Not one moment passed before he said to me, “Are you okay? I heard you crying.” With a sigh of relief I turn to him and share what I have been feeling. Being introverted makes me want to be alone and keep to myself, but outside of myself is where I am the most safe. I am thankful to my loved ones for being my safety and my shelter when depression hits. THANK YOU.