Hi! I really enjoyed everything Rumaan had to say about the process of writing. One thing I've struggled with is calling myself a writer. I never call myself a writer, and never tell others I am one simply because I've never published anything before. Thank you Rumaan, for reminding me that I am a writer!!
I'd like to share a few random paragraphs from my memoir I'm currently writing. It's centered around me and my life with depression. I'm still debating on whether or not I'd like to publish my work, and whether or not I'd like to share this work with family and friends. Though most of my friends and some of my family know about my mental illness, not everyone knows, and most of them don't understand. It's easier for me to open up to some strangers on the internet than my own family sometimes. Which is why I'm posting some of my work here for you all.
I guess let me know what you think :)
My younger sister once told me that she’d rather kill herself than sleep in the same room as me.
My younger sister once told me that I make her life a living hell.
My younger sister once told me that everything is better without me.
My younger sister always tells me that she hates me.
The first time that Abby said everything is better without me was when I visited home during my second semester at college. I was carrying my belongings in the house and she stepped outside in a rage; angry that our shared room would no longer be her own for the weekend. The bright red shame of being unloved soaked the grass in front of the house, the bricks of the path, the steps to the porch. She pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. I was standing on the lawn and I fell. The bullet hole opened wide and my heart rolled out of my rib cage and down into a flower bed.
I don’t know what I’ve done to make her feel this level of anger. I know I don’t deserve to be treated like this. Sometimes she says these horrid thoughts in front of my parents, sometimes it’s in the quiet moments when she knows I’m weak. Before it got to the point that it is today, my parents would always tell me to ignore Abby, none of her words of disgust towards me meant anything. Their mindset was if I don’t give her a reaction, she’ll back off. I told them it doesn’t work that way, she shouldn’t even be saying these nasty things to me anyways. But what I said never meant anything. It’s almost as if I gave my parents a proposal and they responded with, “Thank you. Your suggestion is appreciated and promptly discarded.”
(here's another small section of my memoir)
I remembered that it hurt. Being near her hurt. I don’t understand, she cried, I just don’t understand. She never did understand and it was frustrating. A sudden rush of anger swelled upon me and consumed my entire being. Like a fire, the flames of fury softly tickled my fingertips as they spread through my body. My fists clenched and my vision blurred and I don’t remember if it was because of the anger or tears or perhaps it was both. I was crying. She was crying. We both stared at our hands connected, resting on the bed that left you with a hurting back when you woke up. The sheets were soft and warm and while she wanted to talk, I wanted to crawl underneath those sheets and away from her hurting gaze.
Nights later I tried to sleep, but the voices in my head were too loud and I was remembering all these things I’ve done. My body ached to be wrapped up in her arms, I just wanted her to hold me and tell me everything would be ok. I wonder if she remembers that night; if she remembers me silently sobbing into that worn out bed that left me with a hurting back, praying that she could accept me and the thoughts that plagued my mind. She couldn’t have because I never went to her for help because she didn’t know how to help. She was no help to me. So I lay there in my bed, alone and scared. I turned to my side, faced the wall and breathed slowly. I closed my eyes, opened them, closed them once more. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep. So I turned the lights on, sat on the edge of the bed, and cried. Just a little bit; just to make it easier to breathe. I turned off the lights and tried to sleep. It was a long night.
You don’t understand, I shouted at her weeks later, quickly slamming my bedroom door to make my point to leave me alone clear. I sat on that god-forsaken bed as it shook, the springs screeching from the force of my body shaking from the violent sobs wracking through it. On the other side of the door she said with unwavering confidence and strength, I’m here. But I blocked her out because that’s what I do, I push people away, even her; my own mother. She’d repeat to me every single day for weeks, months. I’m here. I’m here. I’m here. Some days I’d flip and I’d pounce and I’d try unsuccessfully to push her far far away. You don’t fucking understand, I roared at her filled with rage, because at the age of 17, the hardest choice I should’ve had to make was picking out what clothes to wear, not questioning whether or not my existence matters in this world.
I’m here. My head was a horrible place to be and I did not want her to be there. I wonder if she remembers that one night when I couldn’t breathe. She found me in the bathroom, curled around the toilet bowl, getting myself sick from crying so much. I’m here. I let her clean me up and help me back to lay down in that old bed. She sat beside me and combed her fingers through my hair, and I confessed to her how all I wanted to do was sleep for the rest of my life. I started sobbing again, felt like I was going to throw up once more, but she calmed me down and for once I let her. I’m here. Her soothing voice and soft touch lulled me back to sleep. It was raining that next day, the weather perfectly matched my melancholy mood. I broke that morning, sobbing and clinging to her like I once did when I was a child. I told her secrets and sad thoughts and whispered apologies; I wore myself out in her arms.
(and here's one more)
I’m not suffering from depression. I’m living with it. We’re passive aggressive, odd couple roommates.
I want to live in a clean, organized space and my depression wants to live in an actual dumpster. I want to cook a healthy meal but my depression has already ordered pizza online. I want to get up early and face the day, but my depression never fails to hit the snooze button.
But we’re still together. Sometimes I’m able to drag my depression off the couch and we clean our home. Sometimes we make pancakes together and eat them while watching Good Mythical Morning. Sometimes I leave my depression at home and go out for a night with my best friends.
The key part of living with depression is living. With it, or despite it.