AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE IN WHICH I AM FEARLESS
I step outside as easily as I come back home. The phone rings, and I answer it. The cute guy at the co-op asks me if I got sun because I spent the previous day outside, not because my insecurity is showing. I know exactly what to say. I get his number or he gets mine. We live happily ever after, or for as long as it takes to finish a cup of coffee. I go to a meetup and know exactly what to say. I go on a job interview and know exactly what to say. I look up. I don’t stutter. I don’t choke. I am center stage where I belong. All eyes are on me. All ears on my throat. My passion on my sleeve. My heart is so full, it bursts. I am independent. I am wild. I am behind the wheel, windows down, red desert stretching to the horizon. I am on a solo trip to Mexico or Italy. I am ordering dinner without wondering what the server thinks of me. I am not overanalyzing. I am not curled up. I am not trying to make myself small. I am not crying, again, over nothing. I small talk. I ask questions. I lay it all out in the open. My heart only races when I’m thinking of your hand grazing the small of my back. My lungs feel light, my shoulders relaxed. I know when things have run their course. I accept endings. I welcome beginnings. I am not alone. I have my tribe. We hike to mountain tops and jump out of airplanes. We listen to live music, get drunk on vodka and guitar strings. Our souls are intertwined. We are a lifetime. I have no regrets. I am happy. My heart is full. I am free.
I think you are having a different sort of heartbreak. Maybe a kind of heartbreak of being in the world when you don’t know how to be. […] Everyone has that moment, I think, that moment something so…momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.
from Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Girl in Pieces was hard for me to read, but I couldn’t put it down. I related to Charlie—in small ways. She reminded me a lot of my younger self. Her mindset. How she felt about and treated herself. How she let other people treat her. The things she thought she deserved. I think that’s why I had overwhelming empathy for her. My heart broke for her. I cried every time I sat down to read this book. I wanted to dive into the page and help her in the same way I want to dive into my past and help my younger self.
I still feel like I have pieces of that younger self in me. But reading this made me realize how far I’ve come as I grow into a more confident, self-loving, self-respecting woman. Continue reading How Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow Helped Me Recognize My Personal Growth & Healing
It’s like being at a zoo. And you’re in a cage. And people come up to you and they can see that you’re hurting and you’re sad. And they gather around the cage. They might even reach in and try and touch you, but it’s never an embrace, and it’s never full understanding. And then the zoo closes, and then they all go home. And I’m in a cage by myself. And it’s a very scary place to be.
This gut-wrenchingly accurate depiction of depression was spoken by a woman who chose to share her experience with depression anonymously for an episode of Sincerely, X, a TED podcast featuring talks from people who tell their stories behind hidden identities.
In the podcast’s seventh episode, “Mood Changer,” this anonymous woman talks about her depression using the most elegantly and accurately crafted metaphors. Every description she has for depression is spot on. I found myself screaming inside my head, “Yes! That’s exactly how I feel!”
For eighteen minutes, I was not alone. Someone else out there knew exactly how I felt. Continue reading Head Above Water: A Personal Snapshot of Coping with Depression