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I am Alive, but I'm Not Living

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I’m alive, but I’m not living.

“If the only thing you do today is get up, then you’ve accomplished something.” That was my daughter’s advice.

Today I got up, I made breakfast, I walked the dog, I attempted to unpack my bags and then I packed my bags again. Now there is a month’s worth of laundry in my room and I don’t know what’s clean and what’s dirty. So, I sat down and I cried.

I watched TV. Then I turned it of, and I cried. I answered my emails and paid a few bills and again I cried.

“The cure for depression is to keep busy.” That’s my mom’s advice.

I picked up the broom and I swept. I didn’t cry. So, I picked up the mop and began to mop the floors, but all I did was spread the tears that had fallen on the floor.

I played with the dog and then I pushed her away because it’s her fault I’m here. I want to pack my belongings and go live in my car, but there is not enough room for both of us. She’s holding me back, or maybe I’m holding her back.

I don’t want to go on, but my daughter reminds me that, “When you’re depressed, death seems like the better option, but it’s not.” Says who? It has to be better than living like this.

In the bathroom, I turn on the music. Every day before I shower, I dance. For a few minutes, I feel joy and I dance. When the music stops I turn on the shower so I can wash away those feelings of guilt that consume me because for a few minutes I was happy.

Speaking of music. I met a great guy who sends me sweet songs to listen to. “The universe has a way of giving you what you need when you need it,” That’s what Jenn says. So as I dance to his song of the day, I wonder how long it will be before he’s gone too. Everyone leaves eventually, so why get wrapped up in a love affair?

Being with someone is a lot more terrifying than being alone. Loneliness is a feeling I’m used to. It’s the goodbye I hate. But he doesn’t go anywhere, he just sits with me in silence.

I went to the grocery store because food makes me happy. I thought depressed people didn’t eat. I eat all day. I guess maybe I’m not as depressed as I am angry.

I yelled at a guy who cut me off in traffic like he had scorned me in some way. Angry would be an understatement.

I’m in the coffee line when a man approaches me and asks me to smile. Why do people do that? Mind your own God damn business!

Speaking of God, “Mr. Smile for Me” just asked if I know Jesus. “Oh, Jesus and I don’t speak.” The man is quiet for a moment, then he said, “You need to pray.”

“Pray! All I did was pray. For 26 hours I prayed and God/Jesus didn’t answer my prayers. He took my boy, and I’m supposed to pray?”

Yeah, I’m sure he will think twice about asking another person to smile.

I don’t need prayer or Jesus. I know how to pray. I know God. In fact, I thank him every day for how he gave me the opportunity to say goodbye to my son, but I’m allowed to be angry at him. I know he will be there when I’m ready.

I don’t know this feeling or this person I’m becoming. All I know is I’ve never been in this space before, and if I had to guess I would say that this is what grieving feels like.

Tomorrow all I’m going to do is get up. Perhaps then I’ll accomplish something.

Photo credit: curtoicurto/Getty Images

Originally published: July 31, 2019
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