I’m driving across the county for my monthly psych evaluation–an appointment that I’d managed to push back until my medication had run out…for a week. And let me tell you, if you’re on meds for anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a mentally degenerating disease, then missing a dose is a very bad thing.
Rewind about two weeks. Even with the suggested pharmaceutical solutions living underneath my bathroom sink, my anxiety is bursting through the roof. Mind you, this type of anxiety would be present without agitation, but once you start piling things on, everything becomes chaotic. I’m talking about grades, exams, bills coming up that you can’t pay, lack of sleep, and philosophical musings that make you wonder why mathematical equations are the only absolute thing in the universe. It’s not a good recipe.
I had been spending my days doing the absolute minimal, completing my school work with almost no motivation, and then wrapping myself up in a blanket with the blinds shut, hiding from the sunshine and waiting for the sun to set so I could take my dose of sleeping pills and hide my consciousness from its daily pain.
I was so overwhelmed with the burdens of everyday life that I became stuck inside a state of a coma. All I could think about was the degenerative brain disorder, Huntingtons Disease, that haunted my mother and I, my hopeless financial state, and the consideration of whether or not my existence was even necessary. In my openly depressed state, no one came to my aid. No one noticed. No one asked.
I was all alone with my demons for two weeks.
Now, I’m sitting in my car, white-knuckling the steering wheel with two tight fists that curl into fingers that have been gnawed on since my teeth grew in.
I hate the psychiatrist. I hate their questions and evaluations. I hate the medications they prescribe that turn me into a groggy robot. I hate all of the money they take from me while they pretend to understand.
I’m not going.
At the intersection that splits into my hometown and the way to the doctor’s, I take a sharp left and head to my moms house.
I turn the key into the lock, and my mom jumps up in excitement of my unexpected visit. My nephew and sister are there, and they greet me with hugs and a slobbery, toothless kiss.
I feel like they are all that I have. My self-inflicted isolation had left me with no local friends, but here with my family, I realize I am home.
It’s not the house itself. We could be on the streets, and I would still gaze into my nephew’s bright, green eyes–the only form of sunshine that I’m willing to embrace, and my heart would continue to burst with pride.
My mother’s love is boundless like the sea, and when I finally break down and cry from the stress, she reminds me that everything always works out, and that she will always take care of me.
My sister suffers from the similar mental illnesses that haunt me, and every discussion I have with her about my feelings are received with a form of empathy that could never be found in anyone else. Although we’re a year apart, I feel like we are one person.
I go into the bathroom to wipe my tear-stained face, but instead, I end up staring into a pair of eyes that are the same color as my mom, my sister, and my nephew’s. Although almost nothing else on our faces match up, our eyes are the same, and if I see beauty in theirs, then there must be beauty in mine. Not just from the physical aspects, but from the pupils that gaze into our souls.
When I stare into their eyes, the most prominent aspect I see is love. It’s in my eyes, too.
I graze over the lines of my fingerprints and the cuts on my arm that I used to inflict on myself to numb the pain. These are the same fingers, the same arms that my mom used to kiss when I was little. I can still feel the softness of her lips tingling on my scars, and suddenly, I realize what I want to live for. No, what I need to live for.
I know it sounds so cliche, but I don’t care. It’s what’s keeping me alive.
I’m still clinically depressed, anxious, and suffering from a degenerative disease, and there are many days when I still hide from the sun, but when my mom or my sister call me just to talk or tell me they love me, my pupils dilate with the only source of passion that I cling to. When I’m feeling alone and hopeless, something as simple as watching my dog wag his tail and lick my face with excitement is enough to keep me going.
This is my message: Live for love, no matter who it’s from. Even if it’s just you and your dog. Everybody has the ability to love, and love has the ability to conquer even the most compelling mental illnesses. Look into the mirror, and love the traces of your skin that your mother and father made you into. Look into eyes that reflect your loved ones, and realize that you are a part of something that is bigger than financial burdens, grades, and all of life’s fleeting burdens.
Love is boundless, strong, and triumphant.
Let it win.