Post- Magazine

my memories keep [narrative]

after sheila heti

TW: depression

[This is an alphabetized list of things I’ve written in my diary over the last three years about my depression. In other words, this is an experiment.]

A balancing act. A position of the sun. A Venn diagram with interlocking rings. A story alongside amnesia. A tangle of wires, like the limp tentacles of a dead octopus. 

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Actually, I’m definitely being dramatic. All I want is to feel okay again. 

All this time I wished to grow older without realizing my parents would grow older too. 

As I close my eyes, I always think if I can’t fall asleep, I’ll at least pretend to, if only to feel someone shake me awake. 

At the end of all things, I’m still so grateful to be here. 

Before, I couldn’t even put into words how I felt, so maybe this is progress. But I’m still an unfinished meal. But I’m tired of every conversation turning into me talking about how sad I am. 

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Circling the drain.

Do you remember when you told me no one would want to be friends with me if I kept acting like this? Drawing their attention to the very thing you’re trying to hide and expecting them not to see.

Every time I get bored I ask Y to cut my hair, and now I’m worried I’ll be bald by the end of the year. Everything is in my head. Everywhere I go, there are couples in love. 

Falling asleep in someone else’s bed is the closest I’ve come in years to being held. 

Get through it. 

Home is not a place but a feeling. 

How can I be the best version of myself and still believe I don’t deserve to be happy? How much longer am I going to live on a dinner plate? How much longer can I survive underwater? 

I am watching myself from another person’s body. 

I don’t know what the problem is but I’m pretty sure it’s me. 

I don’t know why I make it so hard for people to love me.

I leaned over the sink and stared at this face that wasn’t my face. I mean it. I miss you. I miss you. I’ll do anything to make the feeling go away, except call you. I’ll find anyone to blame but myself. 

I promise I have nothing to hide. I promise, in the end, it will all be worth it. 

I read a book about a man who, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, flies to Switzerland and kills himself. I rub the memory with my fingers, over and over, until the shine begins to tarnish. 

I want to cook myself a meal and not have to share it. I want to go home. 

I wish I could talk about it. I wish I were more than I am. 

I’m a scooped-out version of myself. I’m getting high out the window and feeling jealous of the smoke. I’m just dragging myself from room to room and calling it progress. I’m turning my face inside out to see if there’s anything left. 

It gets fucking worse every day. 

It’s like I’m a 3D image viewed without the right glasses, two identical outlines shifted apart. It’s more than I deserve. 

Last weekend I got so high that my body felt like water. 

Losing my mind every single day. Losing my mind, deliberately. My brain is a split beehive and the drones are flying out of my nose. 

My hair in clumps on Y’s kitchen floor. 

My memories keep getting switched around. My mind is the labyrinth and it is the monster and it is the spool of thread all at the same time. 

Now I don’t know if he remembers what I said, or if he thinks I meant any of it, or if I said anything at all. Now I’m too afraid to ask. 

Obviously I was crying. Of course I was lying. Of course I’m happy, but sometimes I am equally as anxious, and I don’t know why. 

Of course there are the trees, green even in the winter. On the beach, I’m building a pyre. On the drive I realized, with more clarity than I’ve ever felt in my entire life, that this will kill me one day. 

One of these days I’ll feel grateful just to be alive. 

Reaching is another form of love. Refuse to do it. Right?

Self-sabotage, at least, offers me the illusion of control. So I called the hotline and made a stranger listen to me cry. Speaking in tongues. Swallowing the words like a pill. 

Tell me being a burden is just another part of being loved. Tell me one day I will stop walking into rooms as if I am an afterthought. Tell me the truth doesn’t have to be a razor tucked into my palm. 

The feeling always fades. 

The feeling never goes away. 

This my parents see but do not say. 

The moment is like swallowing a stone. The sky splits open like a grapefruit. 

There’s nowhere I can go where I’m not myself.

To be honest, I’m not sure. Triptych of what? Twilight, again. Two fish, one with the other in its mouth, four eyes gazing at the surface. 

We’ll be fine. 

When I ask you to read this, I ask you to see me.

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