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    Handwoven lace, spun from a magical spider's web fashioned her posture; veiled were her dreams, old lover's deceptions and all unbridled emotions. Before, as if in another life she has been the lead dancer, the one spinning to the pretty notes, unwinding with the delicacy of her spirit. Poised, she leapt through memories both shiny like sapphire and fragile as opals. Around her was a still, mirroring pond of light. She was a lost feather, floating solo from high above, performing an impromptu pirouette and free falling in the breath of cool northern winds. Her eyes were stained with glassy ice blue tears which solidified as soon as they breeched from their ducts. Snowflakes flew around her and she became cold, landing hard upon the marbled stone beneath her. She lay there and closed her eyes. She wanted to stop the tinkling of a rhetorical melody from her own music box which continued to play beyond her control. She had broken her strongest leg, the one she used to lean on when avoiding painful lyrics that reminded her of her flurrying youth. Her shadow was growing old and her desire to dance began to fade. No hand came to help her up and no one knew that she lay in pain; truth be told she did not long for help. The ballerina knew she was doing all she could to mend her wounds and protect her future from being shattered. From the heavens the moonlight crystalized her beauty, shielding her from surrendering herself all together. Her strength although enervated, would call upon her to rise again. As all folkloric sagas have us to believe "amore-propre" is restored and the beast within is slain or out-witted, the beautiful one's faith is redeemed, and the Prima donna always experiences a reawkening with butterflies swimming around her head and that which was her nemesis is obliterated. The ballerina in this story is glued en-pointe, center stage in a polished oak jewelry box; the golden key is wound and she spins ever so slowly as Lara' s Song resumes. Somewhere my love, within this broken Ballerina her own needs were forsaken without mirth; to see those she love resuscitate their own dreams was a gift for sh#e once again had an honorable purpose.

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    Community Voices

    Running with Scissors

    My anxiety gets the better of me and I sit and stew about things that aren’t real.
    I have a great therapist who I rarely call anymore and often blame it on the pandemic because it’s easier than taking responsibility for my own laziness. She has taught me to be self-aware enough to know when I’m doing wrong. I at least, still take my meds to be unlike my late schizophrenic father. If he felt everything at one time than I his foil over compartmentalize myself into a numb purgatory. My family doesn’t care for my quiet moments I think it scares them and often it scares me too.
    “What are you thinking about?” my husband will ask because my silences scare him almost as much as they do my mother.
    “Nothing,” his favorite word. Though if I were completely honest with you, I think to myself, I’d probably need to be hospitalized.
    “You’re a damn liar Joules,” he laughs at me and I choose to smile instead of bursting into tears like I genuinely want to.
    On occasion I will have a technical difficulty and I forget that I’m supposed to cry in the shower, and it happens at the most inconvenient times and then people feel the need to ask what’s wrong. Which in turn makes me cry harder or lie and blame it on allergies I don’t have. My opaque eyes first cloud with depression, than embarrassment, and now resentment because my brain will chide me about this moment for the next 30yrs. I won’t sleep later, and I’ll probably finish my current book just in time for Amazon to drop off my next shipment. Books are my drug of choice.
    During business hours my brain acts like dial-up internet and once it's online there are too many damn tabs open and I can’t function at my full capacity. I get distracted by all of the chores I need to do but most certainly do not have the energy to complete.
    “Just take a nap Joulei,” my brain whispers softly, “we’ll just pick this up tomorrow.”
    This is exactly what life is like for me. It is trying to catch fireflies in a jar except I’m all limbs akimbo and incoordination, or possibly a game that I don’t understand the rules to and the ball keeps hitting me in the face. I don’t often think things in chronological order and I usually plug in the wrong emotion and incorrectly, like laughing at funerals and crying at 3 PM on a Tuesday for no good reason at all. My depression and anxiety is sarcastic, and is insidious. It is a supernova, it is road rage, it is fear of abandonment, and it is hard to reign in. My mind is an unsafe place not because it is a chasm of darkness but because it is running with scissors when I’ve been told not to.
    #Depression #Anxiety #Prose

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    What Depression Feels Like to Me

    What does depression feel like? I am learning about mindfulness and meditation, and I found an exercise that asks this question. I decided to try it. I slowed down, focused on my breath and pictured myself in a vast room, all alone, with a lit candle at the center. I ask into the room, “What does my depression feel like? What is it? What are you?” In answer, I feel a presence come into the room from all sides, slowly, quietly crawling up walls that I hadn’t even known was there. It is like a film clinging to these walls, everywhere but nowhere. It is dark gray and gritty, slowly turning this room into something that feels like a dungeon. I reach out to touch one of the walls, but I pull back immediately. It feels wrong — my fingers are too sensitive to its touch. I am reminded of a problem I have in real life… an aversion to terracotta. I am repulsed by touching anything that feels like terracotta. I hate touching flowerpots. I have a hard time holding chalk. It sends a shiver through my whole body. I have this strange fear that it will creep under my fingernails. The feel of the walls in this dungeon image is similar: a creeping, cringing feeling. I pull my hand away. I sit back down and remind myself of the candle in the center. It is still there. I feel alone here, but on one level I know I am not. This candle represents my relationship with God, my relationship with other people, my relationship with my true self. My depression is a film that covers everything, but it is not I. I look up and see that the walls are darker the further away they are… the candle’s light doesn’t quite reach them. I instinctively know that this is because the walls are not real. The film of depression makes its own wall… it’s a chimera. Beyond it is not an impenetrable barrier, but rather an open field. A field filled with light, the same light that shines from this unquenchable candle. One day soon, I will see that field. One day soon, I will get up the nerve to poke through the flypaper mirage. One day soon, I will see that this dungeon isn’t real. But not today. Today I sit here in melancholy contentment. It’s OK. I’ve got my candle. This story was originally published on ScholtesBlog. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via Ingram Publishing