Hail to the Warriors
Updated: Feb 20, 2022
Once upon a time I was invincible.
I pulled all nighters. I'd smugly tell those 11:00 pumpkins, “Oh, the night is yet young," or “T’is the morning of my night.”
My brain would be sharp as a whip despite the scant hours of sleep I'd put in.
I braved through strep throats and the flu and found the energy to do what I must at all times.
Opting out of the race was never an option.
Stopping the train, unthinkable.
I. Kept. Things. Moving. Whatever it took.
But these days, I’m a feather in the wind. I’m a bowling pin knocked down by the slightest flick.
I'm a lost spaceship catapulted into darkness by a meek launch.
I'm trudging my way through a swamp, my brain ensconced in cotton, my limbs addled with the weight of the baggage I carry on my being.
You see, depression is a draining job.
It makes every step a trek. It makes every task a dangerous mission. It makes every flight of stairs a strenuous climb.
It takes energy to host a million buzzing thoughts at once, and try to put those brain cells to work through the racket. It is exhausting to pick out words that are lost in the cobwebs of the mind and find the means to expressings oneself as a coherent human being. It is draining to carry around a sack of bones with sheer grit, and will it to go this way, that way. To do this, that. To beg, just one more thing and then I will let you rest, through clenched teeth.
It is hard to wake up to sunlight peeking in and wanting to shut it all out. It is energy-sapping to feel pinned down to one's bed, every finger and toe covered in lead, and not be able to so much roll over to the other side.
It is draining to focus through the haze and select clothes for one kid. And another. And another, squinting to tell black from navy, right from left, shoe from sock, and wondering if any of it really matters.
It is life-sapping to count down minutes to the bus so one can once again take up that immobile position of just being in this universe without having to exert more energy than it takes to just breathe. To just let your heart beat and your head swim and the world spin around you.
And as I lie half-delirious on my bed at the happening hour in every home, and all I can do is pine for the day’s end to grant me a permission slip to shut it all out, I will not berate myself.
Today I will validate the battles I am fighting.
Today I will commiserate with the battles you, dear sisters, are fighting.
We need to rest more, because we are working harder. We need to stop earlier, because we are fighting with all our might. We’re soldiering on against every protesting rigid muscle. We’re pushing on despite the brick walls.
And for that, I salute you. And in a more hesitant motion, I salute myself too.